Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Getting Disability

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Getting Disability

In this article we will unpack the definition of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and discover what (if any) benefits for this common disability you may be entitled to. There are so many common disabilities that have the capacity to change the quality of life you experience, as well as alter (however big or small) your daily routine as you know it. 

By definition, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome refers to a group of conditions that occur when your nerves or bleood vessels in your thoracic outlet become pressed together causing hard compression to occur. In simple terms, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is characterized by abnormal nerves giving off sensations and pain in the following areas:

  • shoulder
  • neck
  • hand
  • arm

The thoracic outlet is the area located at the top of your rib cage, directly between your chest and neck. The specific body parts included within the outlet are:

  • trachea
  • esophagus
  • blood vessels
  • nerves 

These nerves are directly linked to your Thoracic Outlet and run from your neck and arms to the area located specifically above your rib cage. These nerves form a network that looks something like this:

  • arms (brachial plexus)
  • clavicle (collar bone)
  • arteries under clavicle (subclavian artery)

This common disease can develop at any age and within any person, although the most common developments have been found to be in women between the ages of 35 and 55 years old. This Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is known for developing as a direct result of your nerves and blood vessels suffering from the above mentioned compression. Let's unpack what this compression is a direct result of:

  • traumatic event, like a car accident or serious fall
  • pregnancy, because it can cause your joints to lossen
  • birth defects you were born with and have no control over
  • pressure placed upon your joints from too heavy of a backpack or large bag
  • poor posture
  • repetitive activity where you must repeat same actions and posture

Specifically, there are three seperate Thoracic Outlet Syndrome types. It is importatant to identify which one you may be suffering from. The following is a description of the three for your reference:

  • Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Nonspecific-type Thoracic Syndrome

While you may present symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome that is specific to you, the general symptoms will be the same across the board no matter which type you are officially diagnosed with. Such as:

  • weakness in your hand muscles
  • numbness, tingling, and pain in your little finger, ring finger, and inner forearm
  • poor circulation in your hands or forearm, and evidenced with having cold hands and a swollen or blush colored arm
  • tingling and pain in your shoulders and neck that may get worse if you carry something heavy

It is very likely that should you, or a loved one, be suffering from these symptoms and even have other indications of limitations, that you potentially have the common disability of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. While suffering from a common disability may be categorized as such, a common disability, your specific case and struggles will be completely unique to you. This may also directly impact your ability to work and successfully have a normal daily routine. From the onset of your concern of being impacted by Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, it would be in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced and professional lawyer who is well versed in common disabilities, as well as being able to clearly help define your specific case and situation. Generally speaking, the United States Social Security Administration is not known for its sympathy towards those suffering with common disabilities. Ensuring you have a detailed and outlined medical file will be your primary key to ensuring the best possible outcome for receiving benefits. You will need to have medical validation that your ability to work is severely hindered, and you will also need to qualify for Social Security based upon the number of quarters you have effectively worked. It is always best to have confidence in your process, and the unknowns to be seen and understood before they become obstacles. By retaining the services of your attorney, this process is sure to become both manageable and successful.

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