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This easy to use $20 device can help you determine if you have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The Pulse Oximeter!

If you suspect you have thoracic outlet syndrome you can get this relatively inexpensive tool to painlessly monitor your pulse rate.

If the thoracic outlet is narrowed the subclavian artery can get compressed and either decrease the pulse strength or the pulse can disappear. This is immediately followed by the patient complaining of numbness or tingling in the arm and hand.

One of my favorite orthopedic tests to check for narrowing of the thoracic outlet effecting the subclacvian artery is the Adsons Test. These photos are taken directly from my book, The Human Spring Approach to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.


the Adsons Test


I have developed a very fine sense of touch that allows me to determine when the pulse stops. It takes time for doctors to get the tactile sense to be able to feel the pulse.

A non healthcare professional can snap on a pulse oximeter to the finger in just seconds determine the pulse rate or if the blood flow has been stopped by the narrowing of the compressed thoracic outlet.

If you cannot get to a doctor or if your doctor forgets to do this important test you can follow the instructions above and do it yourself. It would be difficult if not impossible to monitor your right pulse with your left hand but if you have the pulse oximeter you can determine if your pulse has stopped with ease.

The pulse oximeter shows immediately when the pulse stops, which provides a more objective finding. I would recommend everyone have a pulse oximeter at home. They are inexpensive and useful to determine heart rate. Of course, you probably have one already on your fitness watch.

I am using my fingers to check the pulse. When you attach the pulse oximeter to the finger tip you can get a more accurate reading. Also you, the patient, can wear this device on your finger at the times and in specific positions when you feel your arm is most likely to go numb or cold.


Dr James Stoxen DC performing the Adsons Test


This method might be a useful, noninvasive, rapid, and inexpensive clinical tool in the diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome to provide an objective finding that can diagnose the narrowing of the artery. You can get a pulse oximeter for anywhere between $20 and $1,500. I’ve used $20 oximeters and $250 oximeters and they both tested the same.

This is an excerpt from a chapter in Dr Stoxen’s #1 best seller The Human Spring Approach to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The book is available on in these 13 counties US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN on Kindle. The book is available on in these 7 counties US UK DE FR ES IT JP in paperback.


The Human Spring Approach to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome by Dr James Stoxen DC., FSSEMM (hon) FWSSEM


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