Brachial Neuritis - Treatment of Acute Brachial Plexus Neuritis
Synonyms and Related Keywords:
acute shoulder neuritis, brachial plexus neuropathy, cryptogenic brachial neuropathy, idiopathic brachial plexopathy, idiopathic brachial neuritis, localized neuritis of the shoulder girdle, Parsonage-Turner Syndrome
What is Brachial Neuritis or Parsonage-Turner Syndrome?
Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, also called Neuralgic Amyotrophy or Brachial Plexus Neuritis, is a common neuromuscular condition. Brachial plexus neuritis (BN) is an uncommon disorder characterized by severe shoulder and upper arm pain followed by marked upper arm weakness.
Brachial Neuritis is characterized by the acute onset of excruciating unilateral shoulder pain, followed by flaccid paralysis of shoulder and parascapular muscles.
Symptom of Brachial Neuritis
This condition is characterized by the sudden (acute) onset of severe pain across the shoulder and upper arm due to inflammation of the group of nerves supplying (innervating) the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and arms (brachial plexus). In some cases, the pain may radiate down the arm and into the hand.
Within a few hours or days of the condition’s onset, affected individuals may experience muscle weakness, wasting (atrophy), numbness (hyperesthesia), and paralysis of the muscles of the affected shoulder and, in rare cases, muscles of the hand and fingers. In some cases, Brachial Neuritis may affect both sides of the body (bilateral). People with this condition usually recover within a few months although symptoms may sometimes last for a few years. Recovery is usually complete.
The main symptoms of Brachial Neuritis are :
- Weakness - Weakness, like pain, is maximal at onset but can progress over 1 or more weeks.
- Intense, burning pain begins in shoulder and upper arm.
- In Brachial Neuritis, pain is spontaneous, often with no apparent cause.
- Numbness may occur, depending on the particular nerves affected, and usually is found in the nerve distribution corresponding to the maximal muscle weakness; however, numbness is rarely a prominent complaint.
Causes of Brachial Neuritis
The exact cause of Brachial Neuritis or Parsonage-Turner Syndrome is not known. Brachial Neuritis may occur following an injection (tetanus, diphtheria or allergy), surgery or infection with Lyme Disease. Some scientists believe that it may be an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body’s natural defenses against "foreign" or invading organisms (e.g., antibodies) begin to attack healthy tissue for unknown reasons.
Treatment and Cure of Neuritis
Treatment options for are:
Analgesics as needed for pain,
Physical therapy to maintain strength and mobility,
If deltoid muscle is profoundly weak, recommend a sling to avoid subluxation of humerus.
Encourage patient that condition usually, but slowly, improves
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