When patients visit our Victorville chiropractic office, they’re usually hindered by standard forms of back and neck pain caused by poor posture, constant sitting (like in office jobs), and sports and activity-related injuries. But many people come in because they’re experiencing pain in the shoulders and chest, and before they visit their physician, they’re usually not sure why.

More often than not, these people are diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), an incredibly common series of disorders that affect millions of people.

In this blog, Victorville’s chiropractors at Desert Cities Chiropractic will help you understand what TOS is, how it affects the body, and how chiropractic can help ease the symptoms of this disorder.

What is TOS?

Simply put, TOS is a disorder that occurs when blood vessels and nerves between the chest and neck are compressed or pinched. There are 220 different joints in the thoracic spine—one of the most robust and most overlooked components of the spine. This area houses the brachial plexus, which sends signals from the upper thoracic spine and extremities to the spinal cord. When this line of communication is interrupted by compression or pinching, symptoms of TOS occur. This disorder causes pain in the chest, shoulders, and neck, as well as numbness in the hands and fingers. TOS affects millions of people every year, especially those who work at jobs that require the repetitive moving of arms above shoulder level, like construction workers, mail workers, and hairdressers.

Causes of TOS

The most common causes of TOS are trauma from car accidents, sports or work-related injuries (or repetitive, above-the-head movements), pregnancy, and genetic defects. In some cases, it’s nearly impossible for doctors to confirm the specific cause of TOS.

How Chiropractic Helps

While chiropractic doesn’t necessarily treat the symptoms of TOS, it can definitely help relieve the discomfort and pain that comes with the disorder. First, chiropractors will take a look at the overall function and flexibility of the chest, shoulder, and collarbone areas, and make an evaluation of how well these areas are aligning and functioning in the body. Then, the chiropractor will use manual adjustment techniques to improvement alignment and mobility of these areas, which can remove pressure and pain from the nerves and vessels affected by TOS.

Get The Help You Need

If you’ve been diagnosed with TOS, there are plenty of things you can do to relieve your pain and get your life back to normal. Physicians will usually prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain medications to ease symptoms, and even clot-dissolving medications if your TOS symptoms are recurring or severe. But for the most immediate and effective pain relief for TOS, pay a visit to the chiropractors at Desert Cities Chiropractic. With over a decade of experience serving members of the Victorville community, Desert Cities Chiropractic is happy to provide manual adjustments that will help you with your TOS symptoms. Give us a call, and schedule an appointment with Desert Cities Chiropractic today!