Now that we already understand what Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is, let’s move on to the therapy you can do to improve your quality of life!
My rehab program for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome consists of 4 major components: postural re-education, life-style modification, manual therapy and therapeutic exercises.
⭐ Postural Re-education
Poor posture is one of the main culprit causing TOS, people with TOS are usually having “Forward Head Syndrome” at the same time! Such as texting or computer using……, are you one of them? ?
Poor Upper Body Posture ⇒ Narrowed Thoracic Outlet Area ⇒ TOS
✨ Engage your core muscles, and maintain the good posture is the key to relive your TOS symptoms!
⭐ Life-style modification
✨ Weight-loss program: Being overweight can easily stress your shoulder and neck muscles, resulting in shifted collar bone or first rib ⇒ TOS
✨ Modify everyday activities that aggravate your symptoms!
* Avoid working above shoulder level whenever possible!
* Stop over-bending your neck when texting or playing your cell phones/tablets !
✨ Sleeping: Never sleep on your affected side, it will make your symptoms worse!
* Make sure your neck is well supported with your pillow! Also maintain a good alignment for your cervical spine!
⭐ Manual Therapy
The purpose of manual therapy for TOS is to release the tight muscles around your thoracic outlet region. Especially Pectoralis Minor and Scalenes muscles.
⭐ Therapeutic Exercises
✨ Cervical Stretching (Each stretch should stay at least 15 seconds, 10 x 3 times/day!)
✨ Door Stretching (15 seconds, 10 x 3 times/day!)
* Caution! If you start feeling tingling and numbness when doing part C stretching, you should stop it and only resume part A & B stretching exercises.
✨ Brachial Plexus Gliding (10 x 3 times/day!)
✨ Shoulder Blade Squeeze (10 x 3 times/day!)
⭐ Bottom Line
In general, conservative treatment for TOS can be effective at reducing symptoms, improving function, and facilitating return to work when compared to surgery. Rehab program for TOS can assist patients to improve their muscle imbalances and poor posture, eventually a better quality of life!
Please feel free consult your occupational therapist or physical therapist if you have any question about the therapy program above!