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Nerve Pain in the Neck and Arm: Brachial Plexus Injuries

Injuries to the brachial plexus are often associated with pain in the upper back and neck

Injuries to the brachial plexus are often associated with pain in the upper back and neck.

The brachial plexus is the large nerve bundle that exits the neck and travels into the shoulder and arm. The brachial plexus gives rise to several nerves that innervate the muscles of the upper back, chest, shoulder, and arm. Brachial plexus traction injuries, often referred to as “burners” or “stingers”, are characterized by loss of function and severe pain in the neck and arm.

In this article, we look at some of the best references on brachial plexus injuries associated with upper back and neck pain.

What Are Brachial Plexus Injuries (Burners and Stingers)?

Dr. Brian Subach, a neurosurgeon at the Virginia Spine Institute, discusses the symptoms and treatment of brachial plexus injuries.

In the world of contact sports, such as football, hockey, or basketball, a common injury is the stinger. A stinger, sometimes called a burner, is an injury that occurs when the head or neck (cervical spine) is hit to one side, causing the shoulder to be pulled in the opposite direction. While stingers occur most often at the high school level, they can occur at all levels of play.

How does a stinger happen?
A stinger is caused by a stretching of the brachial plexus nerves. These are peripheral nerves that exit the spinal cord and run across the shoulders, under the collarbone, and into the arms. The brachial plexus nerves are responsible for giving the arms their strength and sensation. As a result of a forcible sideways blow to the head or a blow to the shoulder itself, these nerves may become compressed, stretched, and irritated.

What are the symptoms of a stinger?
A side collision of this type causes immediate and intense pain, as well as a tingling or burning sensation in the neck that runs down the arm to the fingers. Weakness in the affected arm or hand is also common. The weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations may last as briefly as a few minutes or as long as a few weeks.

How is a stinger treated?
Most stinger injuries resolve on their own with rest. Athletes are usually removed from the sport until symptoms are gone. Ice packs on the neck or shoulders, anti-inflammatory medications, massage, and neck strengthening exercises are often part of the treatment plan. Players can usually return to their sport once the pain is gone and they have regained full range of motion, strength, and normal sensation in the neck and arms. Persistent or recurrent symptoms may indicate a more serious injury. Neck x-rays, a CT scan, or MRI may be necessary to rule out other serious conditions with similar symptoms.
(Read full article)

Brachial Plexus Injuries Video

Robert Spinner, MD, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon, describes treatment options for brachial plexus injuries, including advanced surgical techniques. For more information about pain in the upper back and neck related to brachial plexus injuries, see www.mayoclinic.org

Brachial Plexus Injuries – Mayo Clinic

Patients With Brachial Plexus Injuries Speak Out…

The spinal cord injury community of Rutgers University discuss various topics related to brachial plexus injuries.

The best doctors in the US for this injury are at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. There is a team of surgeons that work together in strategizing the best possible solution case to case (no two injuries are exactly the same, each is unique).

http://www.mayoclinic.org/brachial-p…ointments.html

also you will find more support for this injury at www.ubpn.org (United Brachial Plexus Network).

post questions or read the forum:
http://ubpn.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=18

Best of luck to your daughter and you.
Christopher

PS feel free to PM me if you want to talk on the phone. I’m pretty well versed in this injury as I was injured 8 years ago and researched every aspect possible and traveled to meet any and every surgeon I could that specialized in this injury coast to coast and in europe as well.

Time is of the essence! Please get her to the Mayo soon. If you want names of other surgeons closer to where you live just ask, but the Mayo is the best in the US for TBPI (traumatic brachial plexus injury).
(Read full discussion)

Brachial Plexus Injuries In The News

Brachial plexus injuries can occur as a result of poor delievry technique during childbirth and, as this article indicates, completely preventable.

Brachial plexus injuries are avoidable | TheGazette

Recently, a Cedar Falls couple was awarded a $1.3 million verdict after their daughter suffered a brachial plexus injury. The jury decided the doctor used.

Publish Date: 08/03/2011 14:30

http://thegazette.com/2011/08/03/brachial-plexus-injuries-are-avoidable/

Brachial Plexus Injury Discussions On Twitter

RT @UBPN: Stretches for brachial plexus injuries http://t.co/8mhk8E1 http://t.co/IUfyaJz

By mapocoloco at 08/15/2011 12:53

The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Brachial Plexus Injuries: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age: http://t.co/JDB4Rzq

By InkuJohntq at 08/17/2011 15:41

Do you have additional questions about pain in the upper back and neck related to brachial plexus injuries? We have a specific Patient Guide that discusses brachial plexus injuries (burners and stingers) in more detail. If you would like access to this informative and easy to understand Patient Guide, just click this link and we’ll make sure you get your copy today.
Patients’ Guide To Brachial Plexus Injuries

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