Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

You Need The Attention of a Doctor

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition whereby the blood vessels and nerves in your thoracic outlet (the space between your first rib and collarbone) are compressed; hence, causing severe pains in your neck and shoulders. You may experience a bit of numbness in your hands and fingers as well. The pain and numbness are attributed to the pressure arising following the compression of the blood vessels and nerves.

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What Causes Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

The exact cause of the syndrome is not yet established. However, the following are some of the common triggers:

  • Anatomical defects, (for instance, having more than 12 pairs of ribs)
  • Physical trauma
  • Pregnancy
  • Repetitive injuries
  • Poor posture
  • Excessive use of the shoulders and arms
  • Obesity

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What Are The Symptoms Of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

The symptoms for this syndrome vary, and this depends on the organs affected, meaning that compressed nerves will exhibit different symptoms and compressed blood vessels will induce different effects.

The following are the symptoms to look out for following compression of nerves in your thoracic outlet:

  • Numbness in your hands, particularly the forearm and the fingers
  • Weak hands
  • Severe pain in your shoulder, neck, hand, or arm
  • Changes in skin color of your arm, usually assumes a red tinge.
  • Swelling of the arm
  • Cold hand/arm

When your blood vessels are compressed in your thoracic outlet, you’ll experience the following symptoms:

  • Changes in skin color of your arm, usually assumes a red tinge.
  • Swelling of the arm
  • Cold hand/arm
  • Limited motor ability in your hand/arm
  • Weak hand/arm
  • Inability to lift things over your head

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