Asked by: Firdaws Denia
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How do you treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

Last Updated: 23rd March, 2020

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS): Management and Treatment
  1. Physical therapy: The most common initial treatment for neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome is physical therapy.
  2. Medications: For pain relief, over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Motrin), may be recommended.

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Correspondingly, how long does it take to recover from thoracic outlet syndrome?

The incision is closed with stitches that dissolve, typically within a few weeks. This surgery takes up to two hours and typically requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Recovery can take a few weeks, during which your doctor may recommend restricting activities.

Also, is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome curable? The outlook for people with thoracic outlet syndrome is typically very good, especially when treatment is received promptly. In most cases, the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome will improve with medication and physical therapy. Surgery also tends to be effective in treating the condition.

Similarly, you may ask, is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome permanent?

Thoracic outlet syndrome that goes untreated for years can cause permanent neurological damage, so it's important to have your symptoms evaluated and treated early, or take steps to prevent the disorder.

What happens if thoracic outlet syndrome goes untreated?

Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause neck and shoulder pain, numbness and tingling of the fingers and a weak grip. If left untreated, TOS can lead to increased pain and decreased function. Certain forms of the disease can cause serious blood clots.

Related Question Answers

Caryl Cerros

Professional

Is massage good for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Physical therapy increases the range of motion of the neck and shoulders, strengthens muscles and promotes better posture. Most patients experience an improvement in symptoms after undergoing physical therapy including deep tissue massage, myofascial release and other bodywork.

Buenaventu Walter

Professional

Where is pain with thoracic outlet syndrome?

In a classic case, the patient will complain of pain originating in the area of the shoulder and radiating along the inner aspect of the arm. Other common symptoms involve pain in the neck; the trapezius, mastoid, and anterior chest wall muscles—all from upper plexus compression (C5-C7).

Lukas Abdullin

Explainer

Does TOS cause fatigue?

Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome
Neurogenic TOS affects the nerves that bring feeling to your arm and control the muscles in your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. This type of TOS usually happens because of a previous injury or trauma, or repeated motions. Symptoms can include: Tired feeling in your arm.

Carolann Tchekhov

Explainer

Can TOS go away on its own?

Can thoracic outlet syndrome improve on its own? No. For people who have mild TOS, lifestyle changes may be enough to make the symptoms go away. But more serious TOS should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.

Christie Heusing

Pundit

What is pectoralis minor syndrome?

Pectoralis minor syndrome (PMS) is a subset of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) that can cause upper extremity symptoms of pain, paresthesia, and/or weakness due to compression of the neurovascular bundle by the pectoralis minor muscle (PM).

Hildegarde Oroz-Goñi

Pundit

Can a neurologist diagnose thoracic outlet syndrome?

In some cases, a thorough evaluation by a skilled neurologist may be recommended to rule out cervical spine disease or other neurological conditions that may be mimicking or causing your symptoms. Additional tests performed to diagnose thoracic outlet syndrome include: Chest X-ray to rule out cervical rib abnormalities.

Tiffani Seren

Pundit

Can a chiropractor treat thoracic outlet syndrome?

Treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome can include stretching, manual trigger-point therapy, and myofascial anchor-and-stretch release techniques to the affected muscles. Chiropractors may also include adjustments and postural instruction. Chiropractic Treatment for a Thoracic Disc Herniation.

Ya Yasmin

Pundit

Does TOS cause headaches?

Headaches are a common but often overlooked symptom of neurogenic TOS. Headaches associated with neurogenic TOS are typically in the back of the head (occipital), whereas frontal headaches are not specifically associated with brachial plexus compression.

Benilde Maquieira

Pundit

Can TOS cause carpal tunnel?

Often, carpal tunnel syndrome does not occur in isolation. There are two definitive tests to diagnose carpal tunnel: Tinel's and Phalen's. The other co-occurring issue that goes along with carpal tunnel is called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) and can mimic carpal tunnel.

Khadjou Mona

Teacher

What muscles are affected by thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) occurs when the nerves or blood vessels in the neck and shoulder regions are compressed by surrounding structures, such as the first rib or an abnormal rib, and the scalene muscles. Most patients have pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the neck, shoulder, or arm.

Mariem Eckmeyer

Teacher

Can Thoracic Outlet cause ear pain?

Another common occurrence is pain that starts in your shoulder and runs down your arm, as well as pain in your fingertips. One can even experience facial pain, jaw pain, ear pain and pain on the front of your chest. Unfortunately, the symptoms of neurogenic TOS can be vague and non-specific.

Eldridge Freudenthal

Teacher

What does thoracic nerve pain feel like?

Pain, which can start in the lower neck and travel to the posterior shoulder, back and chest. Numbness or paraesthesia (tingling) may be experienced from the neck to the posterior shoulder, back and thorax or chest. Muscle weakness may occur on any muscle that is innervated by the pinched nerve.

Waly Gracia

Teacher

Can thoracic outlet syndrome affect your legs?

Symptoms of Venous Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
These symptoms occur because compression of the vein may cause blood clots. This is known as effort thrombosis, or Paget-Schroetter syndrome. Deep vein thrombosis is more common in the legs.

Noureddin Devos

Reviewer

Can thoracic outlet syndrome cause blood clots?

Venous thoracic outlet syndrome is caused by the compression of a subclavian vein, which carries blood from the upper extremities—including the shoulders, arms, and hands—to the heart. This compression can lead to blood clots, which can travel to the heart and lungs and be life-threatening.

Sommer Markgrafe

Reviewer

Can you exercise with thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can be very painful, and it can cause a lot of problems down into your arms. The best stretches and exercises for TOS are pec stretches, first rib mobilization, and nerve stretches and/or glides. The first stretch is a pec stretch. You can do this in sitting or standing.

Hodeia Freddi

Reviewer

What is Gilliatt Sumner hand?

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Neurogenic TOS has a characteristic sign, called the Gilliatt-Sumner hand, in which there is severe wasting in the fleshy base of the thumb.

Iyana Mazzocchi

Supporter

What is vascular thoracic outlet syndrome?

Vascular Thoracic outlet syndrome (VTOS) is categorized as disorders of the upper extremity, which are caused by compression of the brachial plexus and subclavian artery or vein by bony, soft tissue or muscular anomalies as they emerge from the thoracic outlet.

Delores Zoroa

Supporter

Does thoracic outlet syndrome cause neck pain?

Common Symptoms
Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause several or all of the following symptoms: Pain felt in the hand, arm, shoulder, and/or neck, which can range anywhere from dull to sharp. Numbness and/or tingling felt in the shoulder, arm, and/or hand.

Dictinio Taylor

Supporter

Can TOS cause breast pain?

A condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) can also lead to breast pain. On the affected side, TOS can cause pain (sharp, burning or aching) in the arm, hand, side of the neck, pectoral (eg breast) area, upper back and/or armpit. Tingling can also be present.