Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is actually brought about by abnormal compression of the neurovascular bundle by bony, ligamentous and or muscular obstacles between the cervical spine and the lower border of the underarm. Okay, I know this is a lot of science talk – lets simplify it!

  • It is common for the neurovascular bundle to be compressed at the neck and along the C Spine. Basically your Neck.
  • The brachial plexus is the network nerves that supply your arm, hand and shoulder. I commonly hear clients complain about radiating pain down the arm.

With thoracic Outlet Syndrome a client can feel pain surrounding the neck region and into the shoulder area under the arm. How can we decipher pain and help determine if a client has Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Using the guidelines below however will not be a definitive factor in diagnosing. I also encourage all my clients when they are exhibiting these signs to not self diagnose and make sure to see a specialized professional. Neurologic and vascular symptoms can be indicative of more serious conditions.

What causes the neurovascular compression?

Compression occurs when the size and shape of the thoracic outlet is altered. The outlet can be altered by exercise, trauma, pregnancy, a congenital anomaly, an exostosis, postural weakness or changes.

This is quite a common complaint among many of our clients and can stem from not only bad posture but also lack of mobility and an imbalance within stability joints. I will work with clients to help increase their mobility and help to strengthen muscular imbalances.