Are You at Risk for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? (Video)
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome occurs when a vein, artery or nerve leading out of a person’s chest to their upper extremity or arm becomes compressed by a rib, collar bone or nearby muscles. Find out if you are at risk.
Generally, neurogenic TOS affects young and middle-aged women. It is related to abnormalities of bony and soft tissue in the lower neck area that compress and irritate the nerves that allow for movement and feeling in the arm and hand.
Symptoms include weakness or numbness of the hand; decreased size of hand muscles, which usually occurs on one side of the body; and pain, tingling, prickling, numbness and weakness of the neck, chest and arms.
Studies have shown that, in general, TOS is more common in women than men, particularly among those with poor muscular development, poor posture or both.
If you are diagnosed, talk to your doctor about physical therapy. Often, this alone can help. As this is a complex disease process, it’s important to work with an experienced doctor if you are diagnosed with TOS.