Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a condition that involves pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the fingers, and a weak grip. The thoracic outlet is the area between the rib cage and collar bone and the syndrome occurs when the areas in the neck, rib, shoulder, forearm, hand, and/or wrist limit mobility of the nerves, veins, and arteries, or decrease circulation in these areas.

In severe cases, surgery can help, by removing part of the first rib. Luckily, most cases, especially if caught early, are improved with rehabilitation techniques. Here are some techniques you can perform at home for thoracic outlet syndrome.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Techniques

Foam Roll Thoracic Spine:

SMR Scalenes:

SMR Pectoralis:

Nerve Mobility:

First Rib Mobilization: 

Anterior Neck Strengthening:

Scapular Strengthening:


Written by G. John Mullen, DPT, CSCS