Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in Southend-on-Sea & Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

We offer advice and treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome in Southend-on-Sea at The Body Matters. Treatments are available from our clinic based in Leigh-on-Sea, Southend, Essex. We also offer telephone & online support and remote consultations.

What is thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)?

The thoracic outlet is an anatomical region located in the triangle of the collar bone (clavicle) and the muscle bulk above and the neck medially. It is essentially the point where the apex at the top of the lungs sits beneath. The condition is characterised by compression of the nerves, arteries, or veins in the thoracic outlet, the space between the collarbone and the first rib.

There are multiple structures around here that can compromise the neuro-vascular (meaning, nerves and blood vessels) structures that travel from the neck into each arm that cause pressure on, and reduce the function of those nerves and blood vessels and lead to symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.

What causes thoracic outlet syndrome?

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) can stem from various factors, including anatomical abnormalities like extra ribs or tight muscles, injury, repetitive motions, or pressure from surrounding structures. These elements contribute to the compression of nerves, arteries, or veins in the thoracic outlet. Poor posture and prolonged desk work can exacerbate TOS risk. Activities like weightlifting or jobs requiring repetitive arm movements may also trigger symptoms. Identifying and addressing these underlying causes through ergonomic adjustments, posture correction, and targeted exercises can help manage and alleviate TOS symptoms.

What are the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome?

As the nerves leave the neck they travel through, between and under muscles and bones to get to the arm. Pressure can come from swelling in the region or bony anomalies that some individuals can have or muscle tension from the way we breathe or carry ourselves.

The symptoms are typically felt in the arm and hand and include pain, tingling and pins and needles and can even lead to weakness and sensory loss that compromises the function use of the hand. Symptoms can be confused as specifically neck related or at the carpal tunnel (at the wrist) or a cubital tunnel (at the elbow), so it is extremely important to have a correct diagnosis or the treatment could be targeted in the wrong area.

Is thoracic outlet syndrome common?

Thoracic outlet syndrome is relatively rare compared to other musculoskeletal conditions. It affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds but is more prevalent in women than men. Certain occupations or activities involving repetitive overhead movements may increase the risk of developing TOS. While not as common as other conditions, TOS can significantly impact daily life due to its symptoms of pain, numbness, and weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment by healthcare professionals can help manage TOS symptoms and improve quality of life for those affected by this condition.

Can thoracic outlet syndrome be prevented?

While it may not be possible to prevent all cases of TOS, maintaining good posture, avoiding activities that strain the shoulder or neck, practising ergonomic principles in the workplace, and incorporating regular stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine can help reduce the risk of developing TOS.

What treatment is available for thoracic outlet syndrome at The Body Matters?

There are some clinical tests that can be used to identify Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, however, symptoms can be very tricky to reproduce in a specific way and diagnosis is clearer from a good case history and then ruling in or out any other potential diagnoses that could be responsible for the symptoms.

If you are getting arm or hand symptoms and want to know how to manage them then we at The Body Matters can offer a full examination of your symptoms and with that diagnosis give you a plan to best resolve the issue.

Remote Consultations Available

We continue to use remote consultations to provide our services without physical interaction, if required, by shifting some appointments to video consultations.

Read our Remote Consultations page for more information.

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Call us on 01702 714968 for more information about treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in Southend-on-Sea & Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and to find out how The Body Matters can help you.

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We are open on weekdays and Saturdays, with early morning and evening appointments available on request. We offer remote consultations to provide our services without physical interaction.

To book an appointment telephone 01702 714968 or click here to send us an email.