Quick Answer: How Serious Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome life threatening?

Venous thoracic outlet syndrome is caused by the compression of a subclavian vein, which carries blood from the upper extremities—including the shoulders, arms, and hands—to the heart.

This compression can lead to blood clots, which can travel to the heart and lungs and be life-threatening..

Which fingers are affected by thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms can vary, depending on which structures are compressed. When nerves are compressed, signs and symptoms of neurological thoracic outlet syndrome include: Muscle wasting in the fleshy base of your thumb (Gilliatt-Sumner hand) Numbness or tingling in your arm or fingers.

How do you sleep with thoracic outlet syndrome?

Change sleeping positions. Try sleeping on one side, or sleep without a firm pillow. If symptoms are caused from overdeveloped neck mus- cles, reduce exercises that build the neck muscles. Thoracic outlet syndrome is usually curable in most patientswithphysicaltherapyorchangesinsleepinghabits.

Is massage good for thoracic outlet syndrome?

A course of massage was effective for numbness symptoms in an individual with TOS, and results lasted over a year without additional treatments.

How do you relieve thoracic back pain?

Because pain in the thoracic region is often caused by muscle tension and poor posture, initial treatment efforts focus on relieving the tension with stretching, massage, and over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Heat and/or ice therapy can help reduce muscle pain and stiffness as well.

What happens if thoracic outlet syndrome goes untreated?

Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause neck and shoulder pain, numbness and tingling of the fingers and a weak grip. If left untreated, TOS can lead to increased pain and decreased function. Certain forms of the disease can cause serious blood clots.

What does thoracic nerve pain feel like?

Pain that starts in the lower neck and travels to the posterior shoulder, back and chest. Numbness or tingling may be experienced from the neck to the posterior shoulder, back and thorax or chest. Muscle weakness may occur on any muscle that is innervated by the pinched nerve.

What exercises can I do with thoracic outlet syndrome?

Scalene stretch: Sit or stand and clasp both hands behind your back. Lower your left shoulder and tilt your head toward the right until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then come back to the starting position.

How long does it take to recover from thoracic outlet syndrome?

Recovery: Most patients will feel some level of discomfort/pain as they recover from surgery for at least 1-2 weeks. Return to activity: Patients often to return to light activity in seven to 10 days.

What is the best treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome?

Treatment may include: Physical therapy. If you have neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, physical therapy is the first line of treatment. You’ll learn how to do exercises that strengthen and stretch your shoulder muscles to open the thoracic outlet, improve your range of motion and improve your posture.

What mimics thoracic outlet syndrome?

Related Disorders Pectoralis minor syndrome (PMS) is a condition causing pain, numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. It often coexists with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) but can also occur alone. The symptoms are similar to those of TOS: Pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the hand and arm.

Can you get disability for thoracic outlet syndrome?

If your TOS has kept you from working for 12 months or more, you should apply for disability benefits. To obtain an approval for your claim, however, your supporting medical records and documentation must demonstrate clear evidence of your disability.

What makes thoracic outlet syndrome worse?

That pain often feels worse if you raise the arm or carry something heavy. If the vein is being compressed, that can cause swelling in your arm and hand. The swelling usually gets worse over the course of the day. You may find that elevating your arm on a pillow reduces the swelling, but it returns the next day.

Is tos a disability?

Undiagnosed, untreated TOS can result in chronic pain and life crippling disability in young, productive patients. TOS properly diagnosed and correctly treated is life changing.