Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) often presents similarly to shoulder and neck pain. However, the cause of the pain is due to compression of the nerves or blood vessels passing through the thoracic outlet (see pic. above- credit from Mayo Clinic).
A Physical Therapist will utilize specific tests to rule in or out TOS. Symptoms to be mindful of are numbness, tingling, throbbing, weakness, arm heaviness/fatigue and/or coolness to a hand or arm.
Tight shoulder and neck muscles, whiplash, and inflammation in the region often contribute to TOS. More rare causes are from tumors. Most people respond well to physical therapy to decrease muscle tension, improve posture, strength, and decrease symptoms. Some advanced cases involve surgery, injections, and/or medications.
If you're experiencing shoulder and/or neck pain, reach out today to learn what you can do about it.