Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Do I have this?

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Do I have this?

This blog has references and content from Rayner & Smale ( who provide amazing information and references to clinical papers free for anyone to review.

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a syndrome/condition that encompasses a cluster of upper extremity symptoms which are due to compression of the neurovascular bundle by various structures in the area just above the first rib and behind the clavicle.

It remains a diagnosis that is hard to catch and often missed. 

Often presents as a cluster of neurological, pain, and vascular deficits, with a varying presentation from patient to patient. 

The list of signs and symptoms to list a few:

  • Swelling of upper limb
  • Feeling of numbness, tingling, stiffness/heaviness, coldness, muscle cramp and pain in the upper limb or hand
  • Paresthesia
  • Arm and or hand weakness
  • Pain in the front of the neck, chest, collarbone area
  • Weakness of the bicep, deltoids, triceps, forearm muscles

If you think you may have Thoracic outlet syndrome, make sure you see a physiotherapist who will provide you with a thorough assessment to help exclude other potential diagnoses and help you set up a rehab management plan.

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