Why the Brachial Plexus is like the London Underground

Just as compression on the sciatic nerves leads to radiculopathy and neuropathic pain, the brachial plexus can be under pressure to. For instance as the thoracic outlet syndrome, or a cervical hernia. All these compression pain syndromes can be treated with palmitoylethanolamide.

Neurology Update

plexus
The brachial plexus is an interchange of nerve fibers that connects the cervical spinal cord to the major nerves in the arm.

This is analogous to the fuse box in your house, distributing electricity from the main electric cable to all of your individual appliances/outlets):

fuse box

Or a highway interchange which can route cars off an interstate to multiple local roads:

interchange

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Brachial plexus injuries can be caused by trauma to the shoulder in accidents or during passage through the birth canal, and result in pain, numbness, weakness and muscle wasting in the affected arm.

plexus5

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This is a real human brachial plexus:

real anatomy plexus

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However, in clinical practice, we are usually dealing with closed (traction) injuries to the plexus, so we are not too concerned about actual anatomy.

We are more interested in figuring out where the lesion lies within the plexus based on the patient’s clinical deficit.

We…

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