What is it?

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a condition when blood vessels or nerves are compressed in the space between the collarbone and first rib known as the thoracic outlet. The most common causes of this disorder are repetitive injuries, trauma injuries, pregnancy and anatomical abnormalities. More often, the cause cannot be determined.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome include:

  • Shoulder pain.
  • Neck pain.
  • Weakness or numbness in the fingers.
  • Sensation of pain and needles.

What to expect?

If you are diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, you can consider discussing the following subjects with your doctor:

  • Was there a specific cause found? If it is undetermined, are there any diagnostic investigations needed to find the cause?
  • There are various treatment options for patients with thoracic outlet syndrome. What does your GP recommend in your case?
  • Some patients with TOS may also have other underlying conditions. Discuss this conditions with your GP.
  • A healthy diet, quitting smoking and active lifestyle can help in your overall health. Which changes can you make in your lifestyle?

In addition to treatment by your doctor you can try the following things:

  • Painkillers such as Tylenol might help in relieving pain and inflammation.
  • Maintain good posture.
  • Maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
  • Avoid carrying heavy bags on your shoulders.

Think you might have Thoracic outlet syndrome?

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Think you might have Thoracic outlet syndrome?