RRS Education Chiropractic BLOG - Musculoskeletal Research Reviews

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) has historically described a compromise of blood vessels or brachial plexus fibers between the base of the neck and shoulder. Several variants have been identified, including vascular, arterial and neurogenic, with the latter (NTOS) referring specifically to compression of the brachial plexus that results in pain in the neck/arm and paresthesia in the fingers.  NTOS can exist as a “true” version, where pain is accompanied by objective findings, and a “disputed” version, where pain lacks corroborating objective findings.  As a result, some consider the condition over-diagnosed, with estimates of 2-3 cases/100,000 people/year.  Complicating this is a lack of consensus regarding diagnostic criteria. 

NTOS treatment generally entails conservative management via manual therapies, hot/cold therapy, electrical modalities and strapping as needed.  Exercise therapy is a cornerstone of this conservative approach to treatment, despite a lack of reviews of specific exercise protocols and their efficacy.  The authors therefore sought to conduct a scoping review of exercise programs for NTOS, with a secondary goal of reviewing the rationale behind specific exercise programs. 

THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Exercise Rehabilitation for Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome”

This paper was published in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association (2022) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Cervical Spine - Disc & Neurological and the 2022 Archive.


Thoracic outlet syndrome

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