Thoracic outlet syndromeIt started without injury. Tingling in your fingers wakes you. There’s a kind of numbing pain moving down your arm. What is going you ask yourself. You’ve experienced aching pain in your back. More specifically the area between the shoulder blades that’s when it dawns on you; your back pain is thoracic outlet syndrome. The pain and numbness are symptoms of TOS.

The Facts About Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Or TOS

Maybe you’ve not heard about thoracic outlet syndrome or TOS for short. Yet it affects approximately 8% of the population, with a female to male ratio of up to 4:1[1]. Most people experience TOS in their 40’s. It doesn’t affect both sides of the body though it’s more common on the dominate side.

How can you deal with this? It’s not just the back pain. You can’t sleep without neck pain. There’s discoloration in your hand and you feel weak in your arm. The big deal is it’s affecting your life.

The computer, the piano, even driving are bothersome. Any time you have your arm up this nagging pain happens in your back with all these arm problems. It’s all thoracic outlet syndrome.Neck Pain

Using Acupuncture For TOS

Acupuncture is essential in your recovery. I know because it’s something I see weekly. Many times new patients come in saying they have carpel tunnel; it turns out they have TOS. Even doctors are confused when rendering a diagnosis. My discovery is your carpel tunnel improves when we do acupuncture on your mid to high back there’s some component of Thoracic outlet syndrome. One essential ingredient is having an accountability partner in your acupuncturist around thoracic outlet syndrome exercises. It is part of how I personally work with my patients.

Symptoms include neck, shoulder, and arm pain, numbness in the fingers, or impaired circulation and flushed sensations to the extremities (causing discoloration). The involved upper extremity can feel weak. Often symptoms worsen when you raise your arm above the shoulder or extended. You can have symptoms from mild and intermittent to severe and constant.

Now What Are You Going To Do To Stop The Pain?

Creating a plan of action can help you end or manage your TOS. Of course I would suggest acupuncture. Because I see patients recover from thoracic outlet syndrome at a rate of 96% it’s essential you try it and Wintergreen Essential oil at home nightly. I would also suggest you meet with a medical massage therapist. Acupuncture for pain relief is one of the best things you can do today for yourself.  Most health insurance benefits will cover acupuncture as therapy please don’t live with pain and numbness due to thoracic outlet syndrome.




Some articles of interest for you.

[1] 1. Watson LA, Pizzari T, Balster S. Thoracic outlet syndrome part 1: Clinical manifestations, differentiation and treatment pathways. Man Ther. 2009;14:586–95. [PubMed]

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