Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (Upper Chest Pain)
outlet consists of the space between the inferior border of the clavicle
and the upper border of the first rib.
The subclavian artery,
and brachial plexus nerves (the nerves to the arm) exit the neck region
and go into the arm via this space. In Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), the
space is, presumably, narrowed, causing a compression of these structures. The
symptoms of TOS include: pain in the neck, shoulder,
and arm; coldness in the hand; and
numbness in the arm and hand.
However, in severe cases of compression of the subclavian vessels, Raynaud's
phenomenon, claudication, thrombosis, and edema can occur in the involved
TOS is a legitimate condition and does occur but its prevalence is extremely
rare! Most people who come to Caring Medical, in Oak
Park, Illinois, with the diagnosis of TOS leave with other diagnoses such
as glenohumeral ligament
cuff tendinopathy, cervical ligament sprain, or Slipping
Rib Syndrome. All of the pain and numbness symptoms of TOS can occur from
these later four conditions, all of which respond beautifully to Prolotherapy.
The reason it makes sense that Prolotherapy
would be BENEFICIAL for the symptoms of so-called "TOS" is the fact
that the condition almost exclusively occurs in women
with long necks
and low-set droopy shoulders.
Activities that involve abduction of the shoulders,
such as combing the hair,
painting walls, and hanging pictures, cause worsening of the symptoms.
Passively abducting the arm (having someone do it for the person) relieves the
symptoms. In other words, when the shoulder
is actively raised over the head (the person does it themselves) the symptoms
of pain and/or numbness down the arms occur, however, when the exact same
movement is done passively (by another person) the symptoms do not occur. This
type of symptomatology is a perfect description of ligament
and tendon weakness (laxity). The injured ligament
give localized and referral
pain when doing strenuous movements, but when someone else takes the brunt
of the force, no such symptoms occur.
"The doctor said I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and I need surgery to give the
nerves more room." Sometimes it is difficult to convince someone they need Prolotherapy.
The people with so-called TOS almost unanimously have normal reflexes and nerve
conduction studies. This gives further indication that a nerve is not getting pinched.
Furthermore, surgically slicing structures to give the nerve more room will not
eliminate the symptoms the person is having and could, quite possibly, cause
more problems. The person with the symptoms of TOS doesn't need a surgical
procedure to cut out a rib or slice a muscle to give the
brachial plexus more room, he/she needs Prolotherapy
to the pain-producing structure(s). Prolotherapy to the neck ligaments,
shoulder ligaments and tendons, or to a rib that is slipping is all that is
Would you like information of how to be our patient? Click Here
Want to talk to us first? Click
< Back to Sports Injuries