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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS):

Thoracic Outlet syndrome is a condition that involves the compression of the brachial plexus and its accompanying artery between the anterior and middle scalene muscles or between the coracoid process and pec minor muscle or between the clavicle and first rib.

Causes:

  • internal compression(bony callus, cervical rib) or external compression (crutches).
  • poor positioning for a length of time.
  • poor posture causing hyperkyphosing and scoliosis, muscle tightness and trigger points.
  • trauma with inflammation and scarring (whiplash for example).
  • joint subluxation of the cervical spine
  • pregnancy, which causes both increased fluid retention as well as postural changes.

Home care for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS):

Some helpful tips on how to decrease your pain from Thoracic Outlet syndrome between your Massage Therapy treatments…

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises are a large part of relieving TOS. If done regularly improvement should be noted after 3 months but exercises should be continued for 18 months even if you’re symptom free.
  • Padding should be added to back packs and moving the main stress or weight over the acromion.
  • Hydrotherapy used should be deep moist heat over the scalene and pec 10-15 minutes before bed. Also cool drafts should be avoided as cold air can activate trigger points.
  • Foam rolling, if done properly can also be extremely effective in treating Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).

Please contact me with any questions you may have about how Massage Therapy or Structural Integration can help relieve your Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS).