Brachial Plexus Injury: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Brahical Plexus Injury: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Health

The brachial plexus is an intricate network of nerves located in the neck and shoulder, which controls movement and sensation in the shoulder, arm, and hand. A brachial plexus injury can cause partial or complete paralysis of these body parts, resulting in considerable physical and emotional pain. This article explores the causes of brachial plexus injury, symptoms, treatment, and lasting effects on health and overall well-being.

What Causes Brachial Plexus Injury?

The brachial plexus can become damaged due to trauma, such as a severe accident, or childbirth. Additionally, tumors or diseases such as nerve inflammation can increase the risk of damage to the brachial plexus.

Trauma-related Injury

Injury resulting from trauma is the most common cause of brachial plexus injury. People who suffer from this type of injury typically hit or are hit by something, which causes their shoulder to be twisted, compressed, or pulled. Trauma-related injuries can range from minor discomfort to total paralysis.

Childbirth-related Injury

It is estimated that approximately two out of every thousand babies born suffer from brachial plexus palsy. This type of injury is caused when an infant’s shoulders are pinched by the birthing canal. The injury is usually temporary and usually resolves itself within several months without the need for medical intervention.

Neurological Diseases and Tumors

In rare cases, the brachial plexus can be damaged by diseases or tumors of the nervous system. These include diseases such as myasthenia gravis and tumor-related neurological conditions such as neurofibromatosis. Treatment for these conditions can help reduce the risk of brachial plexus injury.

Symptoms of Brachial Plexus Injury

Diagnosing a brachial plexus injury is important for both assessing its severity and determining a course of treatment. Symptoms vary depending on the extent of the injury and include:


Pain is one of the most common symptoms of brachial plexus injuries. This can range from mild aching to intense burning or searing. Pain can be localized to one side of the body or spread throughout the area.


Individuals who suffer from brachial plexus injuries may experience weakness in the affected areas. This can range from a mild decrease in strength to complete paralysis.

Loss of Sensation

Some brachial plexus injuries can lead to a complete loss of feeling in the arm and hand. This can result in the inability to distinguish between hot and cold temperatures, or sharp and dull sensations.

Treatment for Brachial Plexus Injury

The treatment for brachial plexus injuries will vary depending on the severity of the injury and the age of the patient. Common treatments for brachial plexus injury include:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help to build strength and reduce pain, allowing injured individuals to slowly increase the range of motion in the shoulder, arm, and hand over time. Physical therapy can also help to improve coordination and balance.


Medications such as pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatories can be used to reduce inflammation and pain.


In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged nerves. Surgery allows the doctor to reattach the nerves or remove any scar tissue that is blocking nerve signals.

Long-Term Effects on Health and Well-Being

A brachial plexus injury can have a significant impact on an individual’s health and well-being. The long-term effects can include:

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is one of the most common long-term effects of brachial plexus injury. In some cases, chronic pain can be managed with medications or lifestyle changes.

Loss of Mobility

A brachial plexus injury can limit an individual’s range of motion, making it difficult to move their arm or hand. In some cases, the injury may be severe enough to cause complete paralysis of the affected body parts.

Psychological Effects

The physical limitations and pain associated with a brachial plexus injury can lead to a decreased quality of life and feelings of isolation and depression. It is important for those affected by brachial plexus injuries to seek psychological support to help cope with the physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with their condition.


A brachial plexus injury can cause considerable physical and emotional pain, and have a lasting impact on health and well-being. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience the symptoms of this condition, so that the best course of action can be determined. By understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment, and long-term effects of brachial plexus injury, you can take the necessary steps to ensure your health and overall wellbeing are protected.

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