If you’ve ever experienced a “burner” or a “stinger” in the shoulder or arm while playing a sport, chances are you’ve also experienced a brachial plexus injury. This type of injury is most common in full contact sports like football and rugby. In fact, it is very common sports-related injury.
A brachial plexus injury occurs when there is damage to the nerves that connect the shoulders to the spine. These nerves send signals down the arm from the shoulder to elbow, down to the hands. When they become stretched, pinched, or torn away from the spinal cord (in serious cases), pain usually accompanies.
This type of injury usually only occurs in one arm, but the symptoms are pretty clear. For minor cases, the arm might receive what feels like an electrical shock or a burning sensation that shoots through the arm to the hand. This is what is commonly referred to as a “burner” or a “stinger”. You might also feel numbness or a tingling sensation in the affected arm. The arm might also feel weak.
In more serious cases, such as when the nerves are severely damaged or torn completely away from the spinal column (an avulsion) paralysis of the arm and hand can occur and is usually accompanied by severe pain. When a more serious case takes place, surgery is usually the best option. However, repeat minor cases can lead to similar problems if proper precautions are not taken.
It’s wise to see Dr. Owen in Salem, OR if you think you have suffered from a brachial plexus injury, regardless of how minor you may feel the injury is. Ignoring even minor symptoms can lead to irreversible damage to the nerves if left untreated for too long. Dr. Owen will do a full and thorough examination, look at your past medical history, and also understands that treatments aren’t one-size-fits-all. After a complete examination, he will determine the best plan of action for treatment and therapy. In addition to your prescribed in-house treatment, he will give you exercises to perform on your own to strengthen the joint so this type of injury doesn’t happen again.
Treatments that chiropractors use are medication free, all natural, and varied. A chiropractor can manually manipulate joints and the spine to assure that everything lines up correctly and works properly. Chiropractors like Dr. Owen might also suggest soft tissue therapies like massage, ultrasound, or electric stimulation to treat muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the joints. When it comes to treating athletes at Healthy Back Chiropractic, many treatment options are available to help you get pain free even you have suffered from a recent concussion.