Thoracic outlet syndrome treatment mimics many other back pain therapy modalities. As always, a properly designed and applied program of back care should commence with the most conservative methods first and only progress to more drastic, and possibly invasive options, as a last resort. There is a saying in the medical sector that an over-diversity of treatment approaches for any condition may be a sign of misdiagnosis. When it comes to thoracic outlet syndrome, this is certainly possible. Many patients are diagnosed with TOS, but do not find relief, despite trying a wide array of therapy options.
This article will look at some of the more popular conservative care practices which are used to treat various forms of suspected muscular compression of the brachial plexus structures.
Thoracic Outlet Treatments
There are many conservative therapy options for thoracic outlet syndrome. As usual, there are modalities which follow the traditional medical back pain path, the complementary healthcare path and the home remedy path. The most commonly prescribed conservative therapies include:
Chiropractic is not only the world’s largest complementary healthcare system, but also demonstrates reasonably good results for resolving suspected TOS conditions.
Physical therapy utilizes exercises and stretches in an attempt to relieve upper back and neck pain common to thoracic outlet. Once again, acceptable cure rates are offered by professional PT.
Spinal decompression is a controversial choice, since it works to relieve spinal sources of compression rather than muscular. This option is often used when the pain may be spinally-motivated or muscularly-enacted.
Pain management drugs are a quick fix in pill form. Unfortunately, these little doses of death can cause some truly huge problems for the health of the patient, especially when used for an extended time frame.
Acupuncture is a great nonpharmaceutical method of care which can relieve symptoms long enough for many TOS conditions to heal on their own. No risks here, unlike the many pitfalls of dangerous drug treatment.
Posture therapy is well suited for some varieties of TOS and enjoys better results than for most other back or neck pain diagnoses. Postural therapies are always more effective at treating soft tissue pathologies than spinal conditions.
Drastic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Treatment
If all else fails and the patient still has significant and limiting pain, back surgery will sometimes be performed. Generally, any form of surgery should be avoided for treating dorsalgia, since the results are often poor and there are considerable operative and postoperative risks involved.
TOS patients who can not find relief from noninvasive methods of care are highly unlikely to enjoy lasting alleviation of their symptoms using surgical interventions for thoracic outlet. This is usually due to a misdiagnosis of the actual causative condition enacting the symptoms.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Treatment Assistance
Be very careful when seeking extended care for TOS. The medical professions are ripe and ready to elevate this condition to epidemic status and are keen on imparting the nocebo effect to diagnosed individuals.
TOS can be a very real problem for millions, but structural cases of the condition typically respond very well to indicated therapy options. If you have treatment resistant back pain that has been diagnosed as thoracic outlet syndrome; beware! There is an excellent chance that your pain has been blamed on this scapegoat condition and is actually the result of some other anatomical or psychoemotional process.
A common diagnostic theory often points to ischemia as the true symptom generator, since this is one of the most prevalent sources of chronic back pain and is rarely correctly identified as the underlying cause of lasting misery.