Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Massage19-Jan-2018
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is characterized by persistent aches and pains in the shoulder, numbness or tingling in the arm or fingers or a weak grip due to a compression in the pathways behind the collarbone and the first rib. This affects the brachial plexus, the bundles of nerves coming from the neck and/or the restriction of blood flow to and from the arm.
Causes can be consistent side sleeping, repetitive motions at work or sport resulting in a forward rotation of the shoulder, cervical misalignment, excessive neck tension, trauma, anatomical defect (an extra rib) or pregnancy.
The intention with massage therapy in addressing TOS is to relieve the tension of the scalene muscles of the neck, as well as tight, shortened muscles in the pectoralis minor and major in the upper chest thereby creating more space for the veinous, arterial and neural pathways. Very good success can be had in the early stages, but ignored for prolonged time, permanent nerve damage may result.