Although damage to your brachial plexus often can't be prevented, you can take steps to reduce the risk of complications once an injury has occurred:
May. 01, 2014
For yourself. If you temporarily lose the use of your hand or arm, daily range of motion exercises and physical therapy can help prevent joint stiffness.
Avoid burns or cuts, as you may not feel it if you're experiencing numbness.
If you're an athlete who has experienced several injuries to the brachial plexus area, your doctor may suggest you wear specific padding to protect the area during sports.
- For your child. If you're the parent of a child with Erb's palsy, it's important that you exercise your child's joints and functioning muscles every day, beginning when your baby is about 3 weeks old. This helps prevent the joints from becoming permanently stiff and keeps your child's working muscles strong and healthy.
- NINDS brachial plexus injuries information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brachial_plexus/brachial_plexus.htm. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Erb's palsy (brachial plexus birth palsy). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00077. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Brachial plexus. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/Public/HandConditions/Pages/BrachialPlexus.aspx. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Bromberg MB. Brachial plexus syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Burners and stingers. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00027. Accessed Oct. 1, 2013.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Sept. 5, 2013.
- Giuffre JL, et al. Current concepts of the treatment of adult brachial plexus injuries. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 2010;35:678.
- Yang LJ, et al. A systematic review of nerve transfer and nerve repair for the treatment of adult upper brachial plexus injury. Neurosurgery. 2012;71:417.
- Neuropathic pain. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/pain/neuropathic_pain.html?qt=neuropathic%20pain&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
- Pain: hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/detail_chronic_pain.htm. Accessed Oct. 3, 2013.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 4, 2013.
- Spinner RJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 26, 2013.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 2, 2014.
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