Brachial Plexus Injury
What is the Brachial Plexus, how can you injury it, and what are the symptoms?
The brachial plexus contains all of the major nerves in your upper extremity and it courses from in between the scalene muscles in the neck, underneath the pec minor in the shoulder, and down through the arm and hand.
These nerves can be compressed, stretched, or torn causing symptoms that radiate down the shoulder into the hand. Typical symptoms include a combination of numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in the affected arm.
A minor case of a brachial plexus injury, often called a burner or stinger in contact sports, may only include symptoms for a brief period of time. However, more traumatic cases such as a complete tear seen in some car accidents may cause paralysis in the affected side. This type of injury eliminates both motion & sensation in that arm. Surgery is necessary in this case.
Strengthening of the neck muscles, proper tackling mechanics, and certain sport specific equipment an be used to decrease the likelihood of having brachial plexus injuries!
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