Nursing Beyond the Vital SignsNursing Beyond the Vital Signs

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Nursing Beyond the Vital Signs

Nursing is so much more than simply popping a thermometer in a patient's mouth or recording a blood pressure. In my time as a nurse, I have participated in life saving efforts when time was critical, I have held a mother's hands when her newborn baby was being prepped for surgery, and I have looked into the terrified eyes of an elderly person in pain. Nurses literally go into battle, serving in military operations all over the world. They also learn and implement the latest in medical technology. This blog is to highlight nurses and prove that they deserve respect and appreciation for all that they do.

What Is a Brachial Plexus Injury?

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that runs from your neck, over your first rib, and then into your armpit. The nerve bundle comes out of your spinal cord at the last four cervical and the first thoracic outlets. It breaks down into several different branches and trunks as it spreads through your body. Sadly, it does get injured from time to time.

Brachial Plexus Explained

Your brachial plexus gets injured when you fall on your shoulder and it gets separated from your neck. For example, if you were in a motorcycle accident and you fell and landed on your shoulder in such a way that your shoulder goes one way and your neck goes the other, stretching out all the nerves and muscles in the area, you run the risk of a brachial plexus injury. You can also get the injury doing certain sports that could cause your shoulder to separate that way. It can also be an artifact of birth, especially if the birth had to be assisted by forceps.

Signs of a Brachial Plexus Injuries

One of the signs involves numbness. If your shoulder or arm feels numb or tingly, that can be a sign of nerve damage. You may also have a hard time using your hand or arm since those are the nerves that are in charge your arm and hand. It may feel weak and you may have a hard time gripping things. You may also have quite a bit of pain, especially when you are trying to move your arm, shoulder, or neck. 

Treatment Options

There are several kinds of treatment that you can try. One of them is time and patience. The nerves can heal themselves over some time, especially if your injury was relatively minor. Your doctor may also want you to do some physical therapy. That can help with the pain and stiffness that you might have due to your injury. You may want to avoid using your arm because of the pain, but that won't help its healing or your chances for full functional recovery. PT can help you figure out how to use your arm in ways that won't hurt you and won't hinder your healing. 

The brachial plexus is an important bundle of nerves that runs from your neck and then down into your hand. If those nerves get injured, then you can end up with pain and other problems. To learn more and get the treatment you need, contact services like Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati.