Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

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What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

Have you been experiencing pain and swelling in your arm? Do you notice your hands look a little blue? Have you felt a “throbbing” sensation in your collarbone? These are signs of a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome.

This syndrome develops due to blood vessels or nerves in the region between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) becoming compressed. TOS can result in shoulder and neck pain, and many patients also report feelings of numbness in their hands and fingers.

Although this condition can be difficult to live with, help is available through physical therapy. Shanti Physical Therapy in East Windsor and Edison, NJ’s physical therapists are skilled movement specialists who can treat such type of pain.

To learn more about our physical therapy services in East Windsor and Edison, NJ and how they can help you find relief from such pain, request an appointment today!

Causes Of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

There are three kinds of thoracic outlet syndrome: neurogenic (neurologic) thoracic outlet syndrome, venous thoracic outlet syndrome, and arterial thoracic outlet syndrome. Although you may be diagnosed with one type of TOS, it is possible to have all three depending on what areas of your thoracic outlet are affected.

TOS can be the result of physical trauma from a car accident, repetitive injuries from work or sports, anatomical anomalies (such as having an additional rib), and pregnancy.

Your doctor may evaluate you for this syndrome and recommend surgery. Although in some cases, an operation is unavoidable, physical therapy at Shanti Physical Therapy could prevent you from needing it.

Symptoms Of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The symptoms of such pain are fairly easy to spot. According to Mayo Clinic, some of the most commonly experienced symptoms are:

  • “Numbness or tingling in your arm or fingers
  • Pain or aches in your neck, shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Weakening grip
  • Discoloration of your hand (bluish color)
  • Arm pain and swelling
  • Blood clots in veins in the upper area of your body.
  • Arm fatigue with activity.
  • Paleness or abnormal color in one or more fingers or your hand.
  • Throbbing lump near your collarbone.”

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor to determine if physical therapy could be the best next step for you to find relief.

Physical Therapy In East Windsor And Edison, NJ Can Provide Relief From TOS

Physical therapy is an effective and safe way to find relief from compressed nerves that occur as a result of such pain. Your Shanti Physical Therapy therapist will use a variety of treatment techniques to help you find relief from this condition.

Some common treatment techniques include:

Manual therapy

Manual therapy is a type of treatment that involves the use of hands-on therapy. This kind of treatment can help relieve symptoms like pain and numbness/tingling by manipulating or mobilizing the nerves in the arm. Your physical therapist might also try to mobilize your first rib and/or collarbone gently.


To increase movement and strength in the affected area, your physical therapist will teach you muscle-strengthening exercises. You will be able to perform many of these at home as well.

Activity modification and postural techniques

Your physical therapist will educate you on how to modify your activities and postural methods to relieve stress on the structures affected by TOS.

Request An Appointment With Us In East Windsor And Edison, NJ

Are you living with the painful, nagging symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome? Have you been searching endlessly for a solution to your discomfort? You deserve to find pain relief in a safe, healthy way. Physical therapy can offer you solutions to manage your discomfort, and even eliminate it!

Call Shanti Physical Therapy in East Windsor and Edison, NJ today to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for TOS, and request an appointment with one of our skilled therapists!

Your Next Steps…

  1. Request An Appointment
  2. Receive A Custom Treatment Plan
  3. Work Hard and Progress In Your Recovery
  4. Recover & Enjoy Life Pain-Free!