A brachial plexus is a group of nerves that, when injured, can affect your neck, shoulder and arm. The nerves that form the brachial plexus are located near the neck, chest, and shoulder. Nerves that travel between the bones in the neck, connect to form the brachial plexus. The nerves then travel along the arm and hand to supply muscles and skin.
Common causes of brachial plexus injuries include sports tackles, falls, or car accidents. Some infants also have a nerve stretch injury during childbirth.
An injury to the brachial plexus can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arm and hand. If the damage is severe, you may have difficulty using the arm on the side of the injury. A serious injury to the brachial plexus may require surgery.
With or without surgery, therapy can help decrease pain, improve strength and ease symptoms of numbness and tingling. In therapy, you will learn how to avoid further injury, apply pain-relieving techniques and complete exercises to improve your symptoms.