What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (neck pain)?
Neck pain caused by Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs when there is tightness built up between the area of your neck and collarbone. This pressure build-up can affect the nerves or blood vessels that are found in this area. Thoracic outlet syndrome is not as common as other conditions but does generally affects females more than males. It may occur due to either of the following:
– A traumatic event
– Repetitive injuries
– Body structure changes (i.e. having an extra rib)
Many symptoms overlap with other types of conditions which may make it difficult to initially identify.
What are the Signs & Symptoms?
If you have thoracic outlet syndrome, symptoms can vary from person to person. No one will have the exact same symptoms but may include some of the following:
– Face pain
– Neck pain
– Chest pain
– Shoulder pain
– Burning or prickling feeling anywhere along the arm
– Altered sensation anywhere along the arm
– Arm weakness
– Arm heaviness
– Altered skin coloration
– Coldness in the hand or fingers
Signs and symptoms tend to worsen when you raise your arm overhead. You may notice these symptoms during activities like serving a tennis ball or painting a ceiling. Driving or typing on a computer may also bring on some of these symptoms.
How to Treat Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Physiotherapy can help resolve the symptoms you are feeling above. Taking a thorough history of the symptoms you present with along with physical tests, can confirm or deny if you have thoracic outlet syndrome. Education regarding the condition can be provided to make you feel more assured and understand why you have these symptoms. Treatment may also include a mixture of the following:
– Posture correction
– Activity modification
– Shoulder control exercises
– Relaxation of tight muscles
– Neck stretching exercises
– Strengthening exercises
– Shoulder joint mobilizations