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When compression of blood vessels and/or nerves innervating the upper chest causes numbness, weakness and radiating pain in your shoulders, neck, and arms, you may be diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome by your chiropractor in Long Beach. The passageway allowing blood vessels and nerves to extend out of your chest and into your shoulders and upper arms is called the thoracic outlet. Surrounding the thoracic outlet are soft tissues, bone, and muscle that suffer inflammation and swelling when nerves/blood vessels are compressed. Although doctors aren't sure exactly why thoracic outlet syndrome develops, they suspect several disorders and various repetitive injuries may contribute to intense irritation of vessels and nerves passing through the thoracic outlet. Here are some possible causes of thoracic outlet syndrome:
About five out of every 1000 infants are born with an extra, cervical rib located just behind your clavicle, above the first rib. About 10 percent of adults with cervical ribs will be diagnosed with TOC at some point in their lives. In most cases, this extra rib compresses the brachial plexus nerves, a network of nerves extending from your spinal cord, over the cervical (if present) rib and into your armpits. Brachial plexus nerves supply much of the sensation to your hands, arms, shoulders and chest.
You have two types of thoracic lymph nodes--visceral lymph nodes and parietal lymph nodes. Visceral lymph nodes correlate with your internal organs while parietal lymph nodes found in your thoracic wall impact blood vessels and nerves going through the thoracic outlet. Abnormalities or infections of thoracic lymph nodes are difficult to detect because they are small and concealed by layers of soft tissues. Symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome are usually the first sign of enlarged lymph nodes.
If you regularly carry heavy loads on your shoulders, play sports involving a repetitive movement of your shoulders and arms (baseball, volleyball, golf) or engage in weight lifting/weight training exercises, you could be at risk for suffering TOS symptoms.
Trauma such as whiplash or severe twisting of the spine can inflame soft tissues, nerves and blood vessels encompassing the thoracic outlet and produce pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and hands.
TOS pain primarily affects your neck, shoulders, armpits, wrists, hands and arms (many cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are actually stemming from TOS). Stabbing, aching or burning pain can be permanent or intermittent, depending on the severity of TOS. Some people may experiencediscoloration of their hands (mottling, redness or paleness), weakness of arm muscles and tingling/weakness of the hands. During an examination by your chiropractor in Long Beach, you may learn that thoracic outlet syndrome is an underlying cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder or forward head posture.
Your chiropractor in Long Beach offers holistic TOS pain relief through chiropractic adjustments meant to enlarge the thoracic outlet and relieve compression on nerves/blood vessels. Cervical decompression and deep tissue massage therapy will also provide rapid pain relief and help heal TOS naturally.
If you think you may have thoracic outlet syndrome, please schedule an appointment with Long Beach chiropractor Dr. Wooten today by calling 562-434-5656.
$75 Initial Exam, Consultation and 1st Treatment for New Patients. Free 8x10 print of doctor’s award winning photography during your visit.
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