The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from your spinal cord to your shoulder, arm and hand.

An injury such as this, occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed, or in the most serious cases, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord.

Minor brachial plexus injuries, known as stingers or burners, are common in contact sports. Babies can sometimes sustain a brachial plexus injury during birth injuries during birth. Other conditions such as inflammation or tumours may affect the brachial plexus.

Severe brachial plexus injuries usually result from motor vehicle accidents. These severe injuries can leave your arm paralysed, however, surgery may help restore function.


Signs and symptoms of a brachial plexus injury can vary greatly, depending on the severity and location of your injury. Usually only one arm is affected.

  • A feeling like an electric shock or a burning sensation shooting down your arm
  • Numbness and weakness in your arm
  • Weakness or inability to use certain muscles in your hand, arm or shoulder
  • Complete lack of movement and feeling in your arm, including your shoulder and hand
  • Severe pain
  • Neck pain

Brachial plexus injuries can cause permanent weakness or disability. Even if yours seems minor, you may need medical care.

If this relates to you, don’t hesitate to book now with one of our physiotherapists.