Brachial Plexus Injuries and Their Recovery Possibilities
There is a group of nerves at the base of the neck called Brachial Plexus. It is responsible for conducting nerve signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand. When the Brachial Plexus is injured physical therapy exercises help heal damaged nerve fibers. Normal nerve function can usually be restored by a range of motion exercises.
It is important to diagnose the severity of damage. Signs of Brachial Plexus injury include weakness or numbness of the arm or hand, or sharp pains that may radiate down the arm. The severity of a Brachial Plexus injury may range from mild inflammation to a complete rupture of the nerve roots.A more extreme injury may leave the arm and shoulder completely paralyzed.For less severe cases, physical therapy may be the answer to healing the injury and regaining normal sensation and mobility.
Range of motion exercises are extremely important to healing the damaged nerves of brachial plexus. These therapeutic exercises facilitate nerve signaling and conduction, as well as promoting an increase in blood flow to the injury, allowing the damaged sites to heal faster. Exercises such as shoulder flexion, extension, and rotation are important to improve muscle function of the upper arm. Supination and pronation of the forearm and circumduction of the wrist is good for joint mobility.
Because of the nature of the cells that make up nerves, it may take some time to heal the injury. Nerve regeneration can take up to four months. It is important to practice patience during the healing time, and to remain active in the physical therapy program to restore optimal arm and hand function.
In the forefront of physical rehabilitation of the Brachial Plexus is the TUTOR system. As part of physical rehabilitation solutions these TUTOR products (HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR) have shown remarkable progress in restoring normal movement ability to affected limbs.
Most of the therapy solutions now in use consist of an outside stimulus or force to cause movement of the affected limb. The TUTORS use a more natural system. The patient does the work not a machine or robot. The patient thus learns how to reuse his limb rather than relying or waiting for an independent stimulus. This system has a much preferred lasting effect and also challenges the patient to do more for himself. In addition the TUTORS do assisted active exercise by the PT or OT which is vastly less expensive than a robot. The OT or PT is also multi tasked and can assist the patient in intensive repetitive exercises.
The TUTOR system consists of ergonomic wearable devices together with powerful dedicated rehabilitation software and is indicated for patients who have head, trunk, upper and lower extremity movement dysfunction and are in rehabilitation centers, private clinics and the home where it can be supported by telerehabilitation.
The system consists of motivating and challenging games that allow the patient to practice isolated and/or interjoint coordination exercises. Controlled exercise practice will help to prevent the development of compensatory movement patterns. The dedicated software allows the therapist to fully customize the exercises to the patient’s movement ability. In addition the therapist can objectively and quantitatively evaluate and report on the treatment progress. The TUTOR system optimizes the patient’s motor, sensory and cognitive performance and allows the patient to better perform everyday functional tasks to improve their quality of life. The TUTOR system is FDA and CE certified. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.