A Case Report of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Improved by Integrated Korean Medical Treatment

Article information

Acupunct. 2014;31(2):173-182
Publication date (electronic) : 2014 June 20
doi : https://doi.org/10.13045/acupunct.2014035
Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, Dongshin University
*Corresponding author : Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine, Gwangju Oriental Medicine Hospital of Dongshin University, 141, Wolsan-ro, Nam-gu, Gwangju 503-232, Republic of Korea, Tel: +82-62-350-7209 E-mail : nahonga@hanmail.net
Received 2014 May 13; Revised 2014 May 30; Accepted 2014 June 06.

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.

Fig. 2.

Changes in verbal numerical rating scale (VNRS) during treatment

Fig. 3.

Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 2012. 09. 07

Left shoulder 28 °C, right shoulder 28.4 °C.

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.

Fig. 5.

Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 2012. 09. 21

Left arm 26.4 °C, right arm 26.7 °C.

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Article information Continued

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.

Fig. 2.

Changes in verbal numerical rating scale (VNRS) during treatment

Fig. 3.

Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 2012. 09. 07

Left shoulder 28 °C, right shoulder 28.4 °C.

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.

Fig. 5.

Digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) 2012. 09. 21

Left arm 26.4 °C, right arm 26.7 °C.