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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Posted Sep 02 2009 7:57pm

Here is another issue of mine: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

"Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness in the arm and hand due to pressure against the nerves or blood vessels that supply the arm. It is due to tight muscles, ligaments, bands, or bony abnormalities in the thoracic outlet area of the body, which lies just behind the collar bone. Pressure on the nerves is the problem more than 90% of the time, but occasionally the artery or vein is involved."

- from Dr. Richard J Sanders, author of the book "Thoracic Outlet Syndrome"

When I went to see the Chiari specialist, they tested my feeling in my arms and hands. They were QUITE surprised when they discovered I had TOS! I said, "Oh yes I've heard that before," and then they didn't tell me what to do for it! I was a bit annoyed. A very experienced and knowledgable massage therapist also told me I had TOS. He explained that carpal tunnel is often confused with TOS - except with TOS the compression is happening higher up in the shoulder area, and the numbness occurs in the 4th and 5th fingers rather than the thumb and forefinger. This all describes me to a "T". Long neck, slouchy hypermobile shoulders, former whiplash injury plus hunching over a computer keyboard all day = TOS!
I am hoping that wearing the sling and getting more PT will really help stretch and heal the area!
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