top of page

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is a complex condition that occurs when the blood vessels or nerves in the thoracic outlet — the space between your collarbone and first rib — become compressed. This compression can lead to a range of symptoms, including pain in the shoulders and neck, numbness or tingling in the fingers, and weakness in the arm or hand.

There are three main types of TOS, each named after the type of tissue that is compressed:

  1. Neurogenic TOS: This is the most common form and occurs when nerves are compressed. Symptoms often include pain and numbness in the neck and shoulders, weakness in the hands, and tingling in the fingers.

  2. Venous TOS: Occurs when veins are compressed. It can lead to swelling, discoloration, or even blood clots in the arms.

  3. Arterial TOS: The least common form, it involves the compression of arteries. This can cause pain, coldness, and paleness in the hands and fingers.


TOS can be caused by physical trauma, repetitive movements, poor posture, or anatomical anomalies, such as an extra rib. It often affects people who perform tasks that involve repetitive overhead movements or prolonged elevation of the arms.

Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Here's how:

  • Diagnosis and Assessment: A chiropractor will conduct a thorough examination, including medical history, physical examination, and potentially imaging tests, to diagnose TOS and determine the type.

  • Chiropractic Adjustments: By using spinal and joint adjustments, chiropractors can help to relieve the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. This can alleviate symptoms and improve function.

  • Soft Tissue Therapy: Techniques such as massage or myofascial release can be used to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation in the affected areas.

  • Posture Correction: Chiropractors can provide guidance on posture and ergonomics, particularly for those whose TOS is related to repetitive strain or poor posture. This can help prevent future episodes.

  • Exercises and Stretching: Chiropractors can prescribe specific exercises and stretches to strengthen and stretch the muscles around the thoracic outlet, improving mobility and reducing symptoms.

  • Lifestyle Advice: Chiropractors can offer advice on lifestyle changes that can help manage TOS symptoms, such as avoiding activities that exacerbate the condition and tips for managing pain and swelling.


Our office has a variety of ways to help you feel better. If you are suffering with TOS and are looking for relief, we would love the opportunity to help. Contact us today to get started.

bottom of page