Self-management

Prevention

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:

  • 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 a brachial plexus 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.
March 17, 2015
References
  1. NINDS brachial plexus injuries information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
  2. Erb's palsy (brachial plexus birth palsy). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00077. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
  3. Brachial plexus. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/Public/HandConditions/Pages/BrachialPlexus.aspx. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015. 1, 2013.
  4. Bromberg MB. Brachial plexus syndromes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
  5. Burners and stingers. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00027. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
  6. Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
  7. Giuffre JL, et al. Current concepts of the treatment of adult brachial plexus injuries. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 2010;35:678.
  8. 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.
  9. Neuropathic pain. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/pain/neuropathic_pain.html?qt=neuropathic pain&alt=sh. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
  10. Pain: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/detail_chronic_pain.htm. Accessed Jan. 5, 2015.
  11. Miller HL. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 21, 2014.
  12. Shin AY (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 10, 2015.
  13. Shin AY. Peripheral nerve injuries: Advancing the field through research, collaboration and education. Journal of Hand Surgery. 2014;39:2052.
  14. Pagnano MW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 22, 2015.