Arm & Shoulder pains & tingling hands


What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome? (T.O.S.)

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when blood vessels or nerves in the space between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet) are compressed. This can cause pain in your shoulders and neck and numbness in your fingers.

Common Lifestyle patterns & signs & Symptoms of T.O.S. – We hear these examples all the time!

  • Work at a computer or desk for quite a lot of time?
  • Drive long distances? Have you had a whiplash type injury in the past?
  • Find holding a pen, using a mouse or steering wheel has become harder & harder to do?
  • Ever wake up in the night with tingling in both arms and deadness?
  • Wake up with cold hands and they don’t feel like yours? Been told it must be your circulation?
  • Have already changed pillow several times and no better?
  • Find it difficult to sleep on one of your shoulders and yet you don’t have a Frozen shoulder or any restriction in motion?
  • Been told you may be suffering from Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)?
  • Arm symptoms including pain and stiffness or pins and needles?
  • Been diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome?
  • Have you had shoulder injections or surgery and the symptoms have returned or never went away?

Postural Changes & Diagnosis

  • Over time using a computer, or various sports can cause the body to adopt poor postures
  • Using T.O.S. assessment & screening we can often pick up problems which may have been completely overlooked in previous examinations and treatment.
  • An X-Ray or MRI would normally show changes if the issue is a structural problem but often these are clear or show mild wear and tear which is normal with NO disc or Joint problems of any significance.
  • Functional  problems with the muscles overlying the brachial plexus (the muscles in front of the throat, ribs and collarbone) which is the nerve bundle that supplies the upper limbs is often the problem BUT not seen on MRI or Xray!

Osteopathic Assessment & Screening for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

OUR assessment will cover:

  • Work and sporting posture
  • Sleeping position and sitting posture
  • Functional assessment of your upper ribs, neck mobility & upper spine
  • Test the power of your grip and reflexes.
  • Check your pulses to ensure your problem doesn’t have a vascular basis
  • Check if the cause if neurological. Neuro reflex tests done.
  • Review of trauma history – such as whiplash or falls.
  • Review of any existing X-RAYS or Scan results

We explain our findings then plan your care programme with you!

Treatment can involve Soft tissue release, FAR, Manipulation to spinal joints and then exercise to relieve the symtoms and then futher remedial exercises and treatment fix the problem for the long term. We might suggest seeing you 3 to 6 months after your last session.

We can help.


Body Back-Up offers a professional Low Risk option.

Our Osteopath’s are skilled in distinguishing Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (T.O.S.).

If you appear to have a T.O.S or you are unsure if your arm and/or shoulder pain could be Thoratic Outlet Syndrome, we can help.