Originally Posted by jkl626
Hi BK . Did you have surgery? How did you get 85% recovered? Thanks JKL
Recovered is not quite the right word. I no longer suffer symptoms very frequently, and those I do are mild.
I was diagnosed with the neurogenic & arterial types of TOS following EMG, MRI, X-Ray, CT scan, Ultrasound and of course physical examination. I have no cervical rib or structural abnormality other than a depressed right clavicle. There was no obvious reason for the onset of symptoms and absolutely no direct help available from physicians other than physios.
However, even at the worst of my symptoms, I was no candidate for surgery. I did get 2 consults, but the shared conclusion was there was no reason to expect improvement from surgery and I wasn't badly enough off to justify the risk.
What I did and do:
1. Stopped all forms of physical activity for a 6 month period (because I could not know which if any were contributing to TOS)
2. Lost approximately 10kg as result of 1 (mainly lean mass I'm afraid)
3. Engaged in a program of 3 x daily stretches and nerve glides, developed with 2 physios with specific knowledge & positive experience of treating TOS
4. Sleep with elbows encased in a wrap which limits the angle of contraction at the elbow joint, thus allowing the nerves running down the arm to relax overnight
5. Gradually re-introduced physical activity, spaced 3 months apart so that if an activity re-introduced symptoms, I'd have a chance at isolating the cause
6. Converted my home and office environments into ergonomic paradises. Specifically, I have only chairs that ensure proper alignment of the whole spine and provide support for the cervical spine, and never have my elbows or wrists in contact with a hard surface)
I do still have arterial TOS, it just doesn't affect me very much in daily life. If I would walk with a heavy backpack, or just spend a day with my head and neck unsupported I'd develop pain symptoms in the cervical region. There are some things I just can't do - like cycling.