Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a complex condition in which blood vessels and/or nerves are entrapped or compressed as they exit the thorax.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is caused by a compression of the brachial plexus or subclavian blood vessels as they exit the neck into the shoulder region and pass under the first rib.

Symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome:

  • Pain in neck, collar bone region, chest, upper back, shoulder, arm, hand
  • Pins & needles, numbness in fingers
  • Weakness of arm and hand
  • Loss of dexterity/coordination in hand
  • Muscle spasms in arm/hand
  • Feeling of stiffness, heaviness fatigue in arm
  • Pain at rest and night pain
  • Less commonly dizziness, headaches, vertigo


Symptoms are generally exacerbated by lifting your arm or turning your head or neck, in doing so you further compress the nerves and blood supply in the area.

Causes of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  • Bony abnormalities, eg. abnormal first rib, cervical rib
  • Trauma
  • Poor Posture – Rounded Shoulders decrease space
  • Jobs or sporting activities involving repetitive overhead movements
  • Increased Weight Gain


Our Myotherapists are trained to assess Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and will put together an individualised treatment plan to help you minimise your pain. This will generally revolve around making space around the area through soft tissue treatment and postural correction.

Depending on your presentation treatment may also include a combination of the following techniques:

  • Soft and Deep Tissue Massage
  • Myofascial Cupping
  • Myofascial Dry Needling
  • Stretching
  • TENS
  • Hot and Cold Therapies
  • Postural and Corrective Exercises


If you are experiencing Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or know someone who is call Essential Health on 9663 5134 to book an appointment today or to further discuss how Myotherapy will benefit you.