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What are the symptoms associated with a brachial plexus nerve injury?

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Symptoms associated with brachial plexus nerve injury differ depending upon the severity of the injury, notes Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of less severe injuries include numbness, weakness and burning sensation in the arm. Extreme pain, inability to move the arm and weakness in the arm may signal more severe injuries.

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Medical care is necessary if symptoms of brachial plexus injury occur in both arms, or lower and upper limbs, states Mayo Clinic. A patient who experiences neck pain, loss of feeling in the upper limbs after a traumatic injury, or persistent burning and stinging sensations should also contact a doctor.

Causes of brachial plexus injuries include inflammation; contact sports, such as football; trauma, such as falls; and radiation treatment, reports Mayo Clinic. Childbirth problems, including breech presentations, and tumors can damage brachial plexus nerves. The injuries can cause irreversible disability, stiff joints and muscle degeneration. Paralysis of extremities is a risk factor for burns and injuries.

Doctors typically perform a physical examination to determine the cause of the injury and the best treatment options, as Mayo Clinic explains. Computed tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging, nerve conduction tests and other tests may help as well. Physical therapy helps to restore muscle movements and treat stiff joints. Narcotics and other medications may help relieve pain. Surgical procedures aid in removing scar tissue that forms during healing.

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