Brachial plexus injuries are a type of injury to the network of nerves that allow movement and sensation in the shoulder, arm and hand. These injuries occur when the upper nerves of the spine are stretched, compressed, divided or otherwise affected. While brachial plexus injuries are most common among infants, adults may also suffer from them.
Symptoms of Brachial Plexus Injuries
The symptoms of brachial plexus injuries vary depending on their severity. The most common symptoms include pain, weakness, numbness and loss of motion in the affected arm. Additionally, people with these injuries may have problems with the coordination and functions of the affected shoulder, arm and hand.
Causes of Brachial Plexus Injuries
In adults, the most common cause of brachial plexus injuries is trauma to the neck, shoulder or upper chest. Other common causes include a dislocated shoulder, a pinched nerve or a neck fracture. In infants, brachial plexus injuries typically occur during delivery when the shoulder and neck are stretched or compressed.
Treatments and Health
Treating brachial plexus injuries depends on the severity of the injury. In some cases, simple treatments such as physical therapy and pain medications can help manage symptoms. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the affected nerves.
Regardless of the severity of injury, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The earlier treatment is sought, the better the chance of achieving a full, successful recovery. Additionally, it is important to follow up with a doctor and physical therapist regularly to ensure that rehabilitation is on track and to make necessary lifestyle adjustments to minimize the risk for future injuries.
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