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J Acupunct Res > Volume 31(2); 2014 > Article
Lee, Lee, Lee, Lee, Lee, Cheong, and Kim: A Case Report of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Improved by Integrated Korean Medical Treatment

Abstract

Objectives:

There are few reports on treatment of thoracic outlet syndrome in the field of traditional Korean medicine. The aim of this study is to report a case of a 29-year-old male patient diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, whose symptoms were relieved after 3-week integrated Korean medical treatment.

Methods:

A patient diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome was admitted into the Korean medicine hospital. The patient had left shoulder pain and left arm numbness. The pain was worse if it had become cold. The patient was treated using Sa-am acupuncture(Daejang-seunggyeok), sweet bee venom acupuncture, herbal medicine and other treatment including physical therapy from September 7th to 27th of 2012. Improvement of the patient’s symptoms was evaluated by verbal numerical rating scale(VNRS), skin surface temperature difference between the left and right symmetric part of digital infrared thermographic image(DITI).

Results:

After 3-weeks of treatment, VNRS decreased and skin surface temperature difference between the left and right symmetric part of DITI showed moderate improvement.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that integrated Korean medical treatment may affect to reduce the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. Further study is needed to evaluate the importance of this report.

Fig. 1.
C-spine MRI 2012. 06. 05
Increased signal in the middle trunk of left brachial plexus(arrows), but clear compression is not visible.
acupunct-31-2-173-17f1.gif
Fig. 2.
Changes in verbal numerical rating scale (VNRS) during treatment
acupunct-31-2-173-17f2.gif
Fig. 3.
Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 2012. 09. 07
Left shoulder 28 °C, right shoulder 28.4 °C.
acupunct-31-2-173-17f3.gif
Fig. 4.
Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 2012. 09. 10
Left shoulder 27.41 °C, right shoulder 27.81 °C.
Left shoulder 27 °C, right elbow 27.31 °C.
acupunct-31-2-173-17f4.gif
Fig. 5.
Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 2012. 09. 21
Left arm 26.4 °C, right arm 26.7 °C.
acupunct-31-2-173-17f5.gif

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