Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a condition where the brachial plexus nerve bundles and the blood vessels, located in the passage between the anterior and middle scalene down to the brachial plexus pass, become entrapped in this area by tightness of the neck and shoulder muscles, compressing the nerves.
It can often times be difficult to correctly diagnose thoracic outlet syndrome because the symptoms associated with the condition can closely relate to other conditions. The impingement of the nerves in a person suffering from this condition can cause a collection of symptoms from numbness and tingling sensations on the extremities, to weakness and most commonly, pain of various degrees during motion of the neck, shoulders, and upper extremities. Discoloration in the area as a result of diminished circulation is also possible.
Thoracic outlet syndrome and its symptoms can be caused by trauma as a result of an injury. Swelling, inflammation, and tightness on the neck and shoulder muscles from overworking the area causes pressure and stress against the brachial plexus nerve bundles. Experiencing a whiplash injury from an automobile accident also results in the impingement of the nerve bundles and can lead to thoracic outlet syndrome.
Chiropractic care and physical therapy focuses on restoring the body’s natural alignment and its functions and a chiropractic adjustment can reduce tight muscles and relieve the compressed brachial plexus nerve bundles associated with thoracic outlet syndrome.