Physical Therapy and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
March 28, 2o23
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a painful condition of your upper quarter that is caused by compression of neurovascular structures just before they enter your arm. The pain and other symptoms could include coldness, numbness and tingling, swelling, arm feels heavy, change of skin color, headaches, hand clumsiness, intolerance to cold, etc. These symptoms are usually made worse when you raise your arm/hand above your head.
What can physical therapy do to help? There are many things that a PT can do to help a patient suffering from this condition. Patient education is first. How can you expect to get better if you don’t understand what is causing the issue, what you could be doing to make it worse, and how you can help make it better. We will talk through these items and start to work with you to guide you in pain management strategies and modalities that you can do at home. We will then work with you to start a range of motion program to restore your motion while working to decrease your symptoms. We can use manual therapy to increase the space between your clavicle and first rib to decompression the neurological structures. We can also help you move your joints and muscles to help restore normal motion for all your soft tissue structures in your upper quarter. Once ROM is restored we will work to begin to strengthen this area of your body. With proper strength and good foundation the last phase of rehab can start. This phase focuses on functional stability and movement so that you can begin to return to all of your activities without compensation or pain.
At Witte Physical Therapy we take the time to investigate your complaints, educate you on what is going on and how we can help fix it, and then work with you through a program tailored for your needs. Your individualized program will be progressed as you are ready and will be fully customizable to your goals. Give us a call today to get started!