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Thoracic Outlet

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Hi All,


I found out today from my primary care physician, that I have "thoracic Outlet" I went in complaining of pain and numbness in both of my arms down through my finers x 3 weeks. I came out with that diagnosis. She's recommending physical therapy. My symptoms are painful, my grasp is weak, and the shooting electrical, tingling, numby feeling is horrible. I guess it could go on for months........ I'm so discouraged, it's one more thing to try and deal with.


Love Sweet

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Hi Sweet,


I am sorry to hear of your new diagnosis and all the pain you have been having. I had pain similar to what you are describing (burning, numbing, tingling as well as feeling as if my arms had been dipped in a vat of acid--kind of a cold burn). Anyway, my rheumatologist was convinced it was carpal tunnel until he did a electrical conductance test and it showed that I did not have carpal tunnel. He said it was due to neuropathy and started me on Neurontin. That drug has been wonderful for me! Within a week the red hot/cold burning stopped. I still have numbness and tingling at night and some times during the day (often have trouble holding my hair dryer because of the numbness), but not nearly what it was.


So, is there anything beyond physical therapy that can help? I sure hope you get relief soon.


Warm wishes,


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Thanks Heidi,


Your insight is very helpful. P.T. and exercises are primarily what she suggested. However, I'm glad you mentioned the neurontin, I would love to take something like that to help during the treatment. Hoping the treatment will help. Evidently in some cases they have to do surgery - on what I'm not sure, I kind of blocked that out when she mentioned it, thinking "I'll make this PT work!" If I don't start seeing any results within a couple of weeks (maybe not even that long) I will ask about the neurontin.


Thanks again Heidi!!


Love Sweet

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Here's is the information page on Thoracic outlet syndrome from Medicinenet.com. It doesn't make any connection between scleroderma and tos. In fact it says "Often no specific cause is found."

It has a great section on treatment and it looks like physical therapy is pretty standard in reducing the symptoms. From the pain you are in it does sound like you might consider your doctor's advice to see a PT. If that doesn't work, look for other options. It sounds like Heidi has found a good one.


I'm glad you may have found the cause of your pain. Hopefully you'll get some relief soon.


Big Hugs,

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