You wake up with a dead arm. Or you have persistent tingling down your arm and into your fingers. You have shoulder and neck pain. Your hand feels hot or cold. You may even have a weakness.
Does any of this sound familiar?
You may have a condition called ‘Thoracic outlet syndrome’ or TOS.
Hi, this is Dr. Andrew Arnold from Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Ctr.
Let’s start by defining what this is.
Firstly, this is more common in females and between 20 and 40 years old.
TOS refers to a group of disorders which happens when either the blood or nerve flow or both are interrupted by compression.
This could relate to trauma such as a car accident, a repetitive work injury, a sports injury, a congenital issue such as an extra rib and pregnancy.
This is a relatively common condition that we see quite of bit of and in general, is not a cause for alarm.
So, let’s now focus on the various types of TOS:
- Neurogenic (neurological) TOS relating to compression of nerves usually at the neck, chest and armpit region.
- Vascular TOS referring to blood vessel compression usually by the collarbone and associated muscles.
- Nonspecific-type TOS where the exact cause is unknown, but the patient presents with all the symptoms in particular pain.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
TOS can vary depending on what’s compressed and where.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN:
NERVE INVOLVEMENT >>
- Muscle wasting affecting the thumb pad muscles in the palm.
- Numbness or tingling affecting the arm or fingers
- Shoulder, neck or hand pain.
- Weakness in a particularly affecting grip.
BLOOD VESSEL INVOLVEMENT >>
- Blue hands.
- Arm pain and swelling.
- Blood clots.
- Weak or no pulse.
- Fatigue worsened with activity.
- Numbness or tingling, in particular, effecting the fingers.
- Weakness affecting arm and neck muscles.
- A throbbing sensation in relation to the collarbone
WHEN TO SEE A CHIROPRACTOR:
We manage TOS every week with great results. Chiropractic treatment is safe and effective.
COMMON CAUSES >>
- Anatomical g. extra ribs at the neck region.
- Poor posture g. slouching shoulders and forward head posture leading to compression. This could also relate to stroke or emaciated patients who have lost a lot of weight from serious medical treatments such as chemotherapy.
- Trauma g. car accident, work injury, sports injury…
- Repetitive activity causing wear and tear, e.g. computer or factory work.
- Pressure on your joints g. overweight causing excessive stress on joints and muscles around the neck; school kids using over-sized backpacks.
- Pregnancy due to excessively loose joints.
CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT >>
Dr. Andrew Arnold says, ‘the goal is addressing the compression. This means mobilizing the collarbone, releasing muscles and getting the neck and shoulder to work better.’
We do this using high tech spinal and joint manipulation devices which are highly accurate, effective and safe.
We also address posture by training our patients with posture aids and exercise.
If you want to find out more simply call us at 5998 4554 and we can call you back for a chat or you can make an appointment.
About the Author:
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.