Thoracic outlet syndrome is a term that describes several syndromes that occur from the compression of nerves, veins, or arteries in the upper chest and lower neck. There are a number of neurovascular structures that run through the thoracic outlet — the area between the collar bone and the first rib.

The thoracic outlet is pretty crowded, which makes it susceptible to compression and the symptoms that follow with TOS. Each of the veins, arteries, and nerves in the area have to compete for space with muscle structures like the scalene muscles, which run down the neck and connect to the first rib, and the pectoralis minor.

Symptoms of TOS vary depending on what is compressed and to what degree. Usually patients experience pain in the neck, chest, or shoulders. They might also have weakness or numbness in the arm or hand.

Some people are born with anatomical abnormalities that crowd the thoracic outlet even more. This could be a cervical rib, clavicular hypomobility, or soft tissue abnormalities, all of which increase the likelihood of TOS.
It’s estimated that 8% of the population deals with TOS. The condition is 3-4 times more likely in women because of anatomical factors, like a more narrow thoracic outlet and a

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


greater likelihood of drooping shoulders as a result of additional breast tissue. Posture is definitely a factor in TOS, but trauma and fractures to the rib or clavicle are also common mechanisms of injury for athletes.

There are three types of TOS, distinguished by what is compressed — arterial, venous, and neurogenic. Each has their own causes and their own symptoms. We’ve treated all three many times at MOTUS, and have narrowed down the most effective ways to deal with each.

Most of the time, TOS occurs in healthy, active people who participate in a sport with a lot of overhead activity. Basketball players are at risk of neurogenic TOS. By constantly raising their arms to shoot or block shots, they often compress the nerves in their thoracic outlet. Any athlete playing an overhead sport like volleyball, tennis, swimming, baseball, or softball can be at potential risk.

When we treat TOS, we seek to increase the space in the thoracic through a personalized approach. Our treatment plans usually consist of patient education, exercise to improve strength and posture, and manual manipulation. TOS is a complicated diagnosis because of its different types and presentations, but with our experience we’re able to work with patients and find the right solutions.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Have you been injured at some point in your journey?
Are you not achieving your highest level of function?

We’ve helped hundreds of people at all walks in life
get back to performing their best painfree!

MOTUS Client
Janelly Farias

PT's to the Pro's, Stars and Skeptics

Discover why the pro's, protective parents, and weekend warriors trust our 4P Joint By Joint Approach™.

It's time to toss out the old school
physical therapy playbook.

We'll never hand you a stack of those black and white exercise printouts.

MOTUS Client
Sam Darnold

MOTUS Client
Kyle Allen

Level up on rehab and prevention and
get back to the activities you love


Schedule A Call

We'll walk you through our 4P Joint Approach™ and set up your 60-minute 1:1 consultation.


Get Your Personalized 4P Plan

We'll pinpoint the source of your pain and design a plan to restore movement along the entire kinetic chain.


Start Moving Again

Get an edge on injury prevention, relieve joint and muscle pain, and return to activities you love with confidence.

Stop wondering if you'll ever
get back to being you.

I had been diagnosed with degenerative lower back issues. The doctors solutions were no more running and pain medications as needed. I really wasn’t comfortable with either suggestion and felt there just had to be other options. Not only is my back stronger but I have been given the tools not only to decrease my pain but also allow me to continue running. I cannot stress enough what a difference this has made not only in my back but my overall health and mental well-being. I have surpassed some of my personal goals of 20 miles in a week, no pain medications and weight loss with ZERO PAIN!!!! I cannot thank the MOTUS Team enough. I’m not a professional athlete or really even a fitness fanatic. I’m a 56 year old wife, mother and grandmother who can say I’m in the best shape of my life. I encourage you to check them out whether you are an athlete on the mend, dealing with an injury or diagnosis that you are being told will alter your life or just a mom/grandma looking to improve your way of life. I cannot recommend MOTUS enough!!!
Kathy M.

3 Ways to Level Up Your Rehab and Injury Prevention With Us

3 Ways to Level Up Your Rehab and Injury Prevention With Us


What Pro Athletes Know About the 4P Approach™ to Recovery and Injury Prevention

Grab this free video, where our very own Physical Therapist shares his secrets.

Don't let pain steal your ability
to do the activities you love

Many active people struggle to find long term relief from joint and muscle pain, because they haven’t been able to pinpoint the root cause of their problem. We created a joint by joint approach to healing that identifies the source of your pain and restores movement with
a personalized plan, so you’re free to move and do the activities you love again.

How can you speed up recovery from injuries and prevent injuries? You can do that by getting evidence-based medicine advice from medical professionals with years of experience. They will be sent straight into your mailbox each month.