Barchial Plexus Injury

There is a network of nerves that connect with the spine and transfers the signal to the spinal cord from your shoulder, arm, and hand called brachial plexus. The brachial plexus gets damaged when nerves get stretched or squeezed or torn from the spinal cord.

Burners or stingers are small or mild brachial plexus injuries. These types of injuries are common in games like football, or other contact games. During the time of birth, the newborn may have chances of brachial plexus injury. Conditions like tumors and inflammatory disease can also affect the brachial plexus.

Road accidents cause the most serious brachial plexus injuries (motorbike). Severe brachial plexus injury can cause paralysis of the arm.

Causes of pain in neck

  • Overstretch in the region of the neck (while your shoulder is pulled down forcefully neck is away from the shoulder)
  • Contact games or sports like football, gymnasts players are at risk of brachial plexus injury.
  • In newborns, at the time of birth, there are chances of injury
  • Accidents or trauma like motorbike accidents, fall down or any stab injury
  • Tumors can also damage the brachial plexus, radiation therapy for cancer can also damage the plexus
  • Direct blow/trauma at the top of the shoulder


  • You can experience a burning sensation down to the arm
  • You may also experience an electric shock-like sensation
  • Weakness and numbness in the arm
  • Clumsiness in your hand
  • Sensation loss
  • Tingling sensation
  • Not able to do some arm and hand movements
  • Unable to do any kind of shoulder, arm, and hand movements
  • Severe pain


  • Physical examination by your doctor, Your doctor will also ask about the injury and any other medical history. He will also ask you for your symptoms
  • X-ray is the most preferred investigation for the evaluation of bony injury or joint alignment
  • MRI helps in the assessment of the severity of the injury and helps in evaluating the collateral damage to the arteries, muscles, etc
  • Tests like nerve conduction and electromyography prescribed
  • CT scan is also recommended to see the detailed image of the nerve roots and spinal cord


  • Conservative
    • Take a rest and don’t move your arm too much
    • Your doctor can prescribe a support brace to rest your neck and shoulder
    • For the maintenance of muscles activity and joints movement, physiotherapists provide exercises
  • SurgeryWhen damage is severe and the nerves get torn then surgical management is suggested. These surgeries performed according to the condition:
    • Nerve graft
    • Nerve transfer
    • Neurolysis
    • Muscle transfer
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