Have you been experiencing any numbness, heaviness, pain in your neck or shoulders, maybe even a tingling sensation going down your arm into your hands? It is  likely that you are experiencing Thoracic Outlet Syndrome! Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition where by a nerve or blood vessel is being compressed in an area between your neck and arm pit. This involves either the brachial plexus, subclavian or axillary artery. The passage for where these nerve plexus’s and arteries exit is the thoracic outlet (exists the chest to supply the upper extremities).

What causes the compression within the thoracic outlet resulting in Pins and needles in hand?

  • Tight muscles around your neck and chest area- Scalenes, Pectoralis minor, Subclavius muscle
  • An extra neck/cervical rib 
  • Trauma to the area of your neck
  • RARE tumours at the top of the lungs
  • Weight gain
  • Poor posture

As the thoracic outlet is surrounded by bone, muscle and soft tissue, any condition that cause movement of these structures into the thoracic outlet will produce symptoms. 

What are the exact symptoms you may experience?

  • Swelling, puffy arms or hands
  • Feeling of heaviness in your arm or hands
  • Deep, toothache like pain in your neck or shoulders
  • Increasing symptoms at night
  • Cramps of muscles in the middle aspect of your forearm
  • Hands or arms easily fatigue
  • Pins and needles middle forearm or palm of hand
  • Difficulty gripping
  • Arm and hand pain

Who is at risk of experiencing Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

  • Occupations with heavy usage of upper extremities- construction work or a hairdresser for example
  • Weight lifting
  • Pregnancy 
  • Obesity 
  • Poor posture such as in front of a computer

Any activities/ positions that cause impingement (squashing) to the thoracic outlet.

How your chiropractor may treat you?
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition that is commonly seen and treated by chiropractors. Your chiropractor will identify the cause of your symptoms, and treat the appropriate structure involved. This is done by manipulation or mobilisation of the first rib, specific exercises and stretches that lengthen shortened tissues, strengthen weak muscles, restore correct biomechanics (normal movement). Taping and bracing can also be incorporated in your treatment, other modalities such as interferential, dry needling, soft tissue therapy and strapping will assist in the recovery and treatment of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. 

The chiropractors at Lakeside Chiropractic in Perth Joondalup are very knowledgeable in this condition, being highly trained in the musculoskeletal system. They will examine you via specific orthopaedic tests that identify thoracic outlet syndrome, eliminating other possible causes of your symptoms. Once they have identified the condition, the specific structure responsible will be treated! 

Lakeside Chiropractic is located in Joondalup Central Walk in the northern suburbs of Perth. Surrounding suburbs include Hillarys, Hocking, Mullaloo, Tapping, Burns Beach, Iluka, Currambine, Sinagra Ocean Reef, Beldon, Padbury, Woodvale, and Craigie. We have HICAPS onsite, so you can claim from your Health Fund on the day of treatment. Health Funds available for claiming include Medibank, HBF, Bupa, CU Health, NIB, Police Health Fund, GMF, SGIO, if yours is not listed please ask.

If you feel you may have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or would like to get any other musculoskeletal structure in your body reviewed don't hesitate to contact us on 9300 0095, or visit our website www.lakesidechiro.com.au to make an enquiry or booking.

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