Thoracic outlet syndrome is a disorder which occurs when there is compression, injury, or irritation of the nerves and/or blood vessels in the lower neck and upper chest area. Thoracic outlet syndrome is named for the space --the thoracic outlet-- between the first rib and clavicle where this grouping of nerves and blood vessels is found.
When the blood vessels and/or nerves in the tight passageway of the thoracic outlet are compressed, they become aggravated and can cause Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Thoracic outlet syndrome can be a result of any inflammation, trauma, or injury which reduces this space for the vessels and nerves.
Symptoms of this condition include numbness, tingling, or poor circulation in the affected arm or fingers. There may also be pain or aches in the neck, shoulder, or hand.
The doctor may use several techniques to identify and relieve symptoms. First, she may ask about the above symptoms to determine the severity of the problem. The doctor will then adjust the vertebrae to ensure proper alignment. Treatment may also include myofascial release which aims to restore mobility and release nerve entrapments which occur over a period of time due to exercise, repetitive use, or trauma to the area. The patient should experience relief after a couple of visits, depending on the severity of the problem.