Patient Comments: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your thoracic outlet syndrome?

Comment from: AF Mom, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

My neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome symptoms (NTOS) began January 2015. I have been a weight lifter for over 20 years. The morning after a workout in which I felt some pain (just thought I hadn't stretched/wasn't warmed up enough), I literally could not lift my arm. I had severe pain across clavicle and down arm with numbness in thumb/index finger. I also experienced a white-hot pain, almost as if a rod was being shoved down through my trap. Constant headache, jaw/ear pain, and inability to rotate my head were issues. I was a prisoner in my own home because driving or even riding in a vehicle brought pain that left me in tears. Eventually, my arm would swell and my hand would turn blue. After 9 months of misdiagnosis and experimentation with medicines and physical therapy, I finally found a doctor (he was 8th), who diagnosed NTOS (and reassured me that I wasn't crazy).

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Comment from: Mg, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 20

The symptoms of my thoracic outlet syndrome are burning, pain radiating in hand and arm to top of the shoulder and side of neck which also would go up side of ear and face, numbness, and swelling. It irritates to do most normal everyday tasks. Mine came from shoulder injury. It took since 2014 to now to get the correct diagnosis.

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Comment from: MissAlanis, Female (Patient) Published: October 23

I was diagnosed just yesterday with not only a pulled rotator cuff but also thoracic outlet syndrome. I was having a good time just two weeks ago when all of a sudden, a white hot pain erupted from my ear down to the tips of my fingers and though the pain has subsided, it's still pretty bad. IO am going to embark on twice weekly physiotherapy (PT) starting tomorrow. Very excited! Hopefully this will help. I suggest looking into local PT places for those who have just been diagnosed.

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Comment from: rain, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 24

I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome last week. I woke up with my hand so numb and my shoulder hurting. I can hardly use the arm and hand.

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Comment from: ldchapman, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome about 2 months ago. I had constant knots in neck and shoulders and both arm weakness when doing any activity, especially over the shoulders (fixing hair). I have begun to develop another symptom here recently and I am confused if it is related to thoracic outlet syndrome or not. I have been getting aggravating muscle twitches in the back of my right arm and in my right thigh muscle. It is very annoying and has been constantly off and on for about 5 days.

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Comment from: finally someone list, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

Finally someone listened to how much pain I am in and researched all the scans I have had done. For over 5 weeks most doctors have fobbed me off (it is in her head) or just given me medication most of which don't stop the pain, they just drug me out so much I can't drive so therefore I can't get to work. Thanks to my chiropractor who took the time to listen and research he diagnosed me with thoracic outlet syndrome 2 days ago. It all makes sense now. Hopefully after a few weeks of specific exercises I will be back to normal.

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Comment from: not crazy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

A number of years ago I was having issues with pain across my chest. I went to see a number of doctors and their nurse practitioners, a number of whom thought I was a hypochondriac but a spine specialist found out that I had thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). I even saw a specialist for TOS and he wanted to do surgery but I would not do it and now I am seeing a chiropractor for it and receiving some relief from the pain. I had seen some physical therapists who helped but I now know that I have to do some exercises regularly for it. I also have been checked for an extra rib and I do not have one.

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Comment from: sjpodr, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I am 41 now and was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) in 2000. The hand surgeon, who was supposed to be the best, was pretty lost with a diagnosis. The night before my last appointment, lying in bed, I put my arm across the pillow next to me and within seconds my arm was asleep. When I told the doctor this, he instantly did physical tests and diagnosed me. He told me that only accident victims get TOS and that apparently mine was natural. Sent me off for physical therapy (PT) and it was useless and horrible. For several years I suffered with my issues, the numbness, the feeling that something is clamped on my wrist keeping me from writing, the tightness and pain in my shoulder muscle, and the migraine feeling I kept getting. In 2009 I had a car accident. They told me I had a herniated disc at the bottom of my neck. I was sent for PT. The exercises actually made me feel better with the TOS and most of the issues subsided for the most part (still have issues with the achiness and clamp on my wrist feeling). Well, now in 2014 I am having issues with my left side and I have no idea what to do. I don't want to go back to the same doctor. I have no idea if there are new procedures or medications.

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment or therapy have you received for thoracic outlet syndrome?
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Diagnostic Tests Question: What tests were used to diagnose your thoracic outlet syndrome?
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Causes Question: What caused your thoracic outlet syndrome?

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