Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
The Thoracic Outlet is the opening at the top of the Thoracic Cavity. It is essentially a hole through a bony ring that several vital structures pass through. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome occurs when one or more of these vital structures are compressed. In 95% of cases, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome affects the neurological system, specifically the Brachial Plexus. In 4% of cases, the venous system is affected, and in less than 1% of cases, the arterial system.
Main causes of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
The most common cause of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is trauma, such as a whiplash injury or traction injuries. It is also common for postural changes, such as forward head posture or rounded shoulders to place repetitive strain on structures in the Thoracic Outlet.
Sign/Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Signs and symptoms of TOS are often vascular or neurological, depending on the structures that are compressed. These symptoms are:
Physiotherapy management for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
In York-Med Physiotherapy, your treatment plan will be specific to your condition. Typically, treatment will involve techniques to reduce the compression of structures in the thoracic outlet. In your treatment session, you will receive a mixture of manual techniques, exercise and advice to address the contributing factors such as posture and mobility to prevent any reoccurrence.