What Is Brachial Plexus And Brachial Neuritis?
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that runs from the spinal cord in the neck to the armpit and supplies nerve fibers to the chest, shoulder, arm and hands. These nerves give sensation and movement to the arms, forearms, hands and fingers. Here, there are two exceptions – brachial plexus doesn’t provide nerve supply to trapezius muscle (on the back of the shoulder) and an area of the skin near the armpit.
Brachial neuritis is a condition that arises when nerves of the brachial plexus are inflamed or get damaged. It is also referred to as brachial neuropathy and brachial plexus injury. Other names for brachial neuritis are Brachial Plexitis, Parsonage-Turner Syndrome or Neuralgic Amyotrophy.
Homeopathic medicines are highly reliable to manage symptoms of brachial neuritis. Homeopathic medicines stimulate the healing mechanism of the body to reduce the inflammation of nerves naturally and relieve the symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, weakness in shoulders and arms. It is advised to take any homeopathic medicine under the supervision of a homeopathic physician who will prescribe the required medicine after complete case evaluation. Homeopathy is recommended when the problem is mild to moderate in intensity but in severe cases, and when there is paralysis of the arm or difficulty in breathing, then urgent help from conventional mode of treatment should be taken.
Homeopathic Medicines For Brachial Plexus
1. Rhus Tox – For Pain Management
It is a leading homeopathic medicine for managing pain. Persons needing it may have tearing, burning or stitching type of pain in the shoulder. They may feel pressure on the shoulders like one feels when carrying a heavy weight. There is worsening of the symptoms at rest, while movement often relieves the symptoms. They also complain of weakness in the shoulders. They have sensation of numbness around the hands. Sometimes, they have drawing or stitching pain in the shoulders that radiates down the arms. They can also have violent tearing or shooting pain in the arm. There is a feeling of the arm hanging lifelessly.
2. Hypericum – For Neuritis Related To Injury
It is a general medicine in homeopathy which is highly recommended to manage nerve inflammation consequent to an injury. It is prepared from a plant Hypericum Perforatum, commonly called St John’s Wort. It belongs to family Hypericaceae. It is an effective medicine to manage symptoms of nerve inflammation including numbness, tingling sensation and burning type of pain.
3. Sanguinaria Can – To Manage Right-sided Shoulder Pain And Weakness
It is prepared from a plant Sanguinaria Canadensis commonly known as ‘blood root’. It belongs to family Papaveraceae. It is beneficial in managing right-sided shoulder pain. The pain is also felt in the upper part of the right arm. The pain gets worse at night. Another indication for using it is drawing pain in the shoulders and the arms during sleep. Lastly, it is also useful for cases having weakness in the shoulders.
4. Pulsatilla – To Manage Numbness
It is prepared from the plant Pulsatilla Nigricans, commonly named as ‘wind flower’ and ‘pasque flower’. This plant belongs to family Ranunculaceae. It is useful for managing numbness in shoulders and arms. Heaviness is also felt from the shoulders down to fingers. Raising the arms worsens the pain. Other than this, drawing, jerking and tearing pain can be felt in the shoulder. Drawing pain from the shoulder may extend down the hands in some cases.
5. Picric Acid – For Weakness In Shoulders
It offers help in cases having weakness in the shoulders. Persons needing it, feel lame in the shoulders, along with tiredness and soreness of the shoulders. There is heaviness in the arms which is felt mainly on exertion.
6. Chamomilla – For Left Shoulder Pain And Tingling In Shoulders
It is a natural medicine prepared from plant Matricaria chamomilla. It belongs to family Compositae. This medicine is considered when there is left-sided shoulder pain. The pain may be jerking, stitching type which sometimes feels like electric sparks. It may extend to the neck also. Tingling or pricking sensation may be felt in the shoulders. There may be pain in the arms that cannot bear the slightest movement. Other than the above, its use is also recommended for pricking numb sensation mainly in the right arm, felt mostly when one wakes up from sleep at night.
7. Phosphorus – For Managing Weakness In Upper Arm
This medicine works well in cases of weakness of upper arms. Along with this, drawing pain is felt in the shoulder and the upper arm. Next there can be tearing in the left shoulder. It is felt mainly at night in bed.
8. Bryonia – For Pain In Right Shoulder
This medicine is prepared from root of the plant Bryonia Alba, commonly known as ‘white bryony’ and ‘wild hops’. This plant belongs to family Cucurbitaceae. It is effective for managing pain in the right shoulder. It gets worse on touching. A tension and pressure builds up on the shoulders. Other than this, pain is also felt on the upper arm which is drawing and tearing in nature.
9. Ledum Pal – For Severe Stitching Shoulder Pain
When there is pain in the shoulder on raising or moving the arm, this is the best medicine which can come to your rescue. It is prepared from plant Ledum Palustre, commonly called ‘wild rosemary’ and ‘marsh cistus’. This plant belongs to family Ericaceae. It is also indicated to manage throbbing type of pain in right shoulder.
10. Ferrum Met – For Shooting Type Of Shoulder Pain
It is a prominent medicine when there is shooting type of pain in shoulder. The pain travels down the arm where it is indicated. It also manages boring type of pain in the right shoulder which hurts more from movement. Heat application may relieve when the right shoulder is sore to touch.
11. Sulphur – For Shoulder Pain At Night
This medicine is beneficial for managing shoulder pain that occurs mostly at night. The pain is mainly lacerating type with a bruised pain in the left shoulder. Along with this, one feel pressure on the shoulders as if carrying a heavy weight.
What Is The Cause Behind It?
It arises from damage to the nerves of the brachial plexus (network of nerves in the neck and arms). When the nerves are damaged, they are unable to send and carry signals to the spinal cord resulting in pain and other symptoms like burning sensation, numbness, tingling and weakness in shoulders. The damage may be due to an injury or infection. Brachial neuritis may also be genetic or related to autoimmune diseases in which the immune system attacks and damages the healthy tissue of the body itself out of a misdirected response. The Parsonage-Turner Syndrome is a type of brachial neuritis that arise without any cause and is linked to autoimmune inflammation. According to a research, brachial neuritis may also arise from damage to the protective myelin sheath that covers the nerve.
Any recent infection of the upper respiratory tract, flu or typhoid can also cause brachial neuritis, or it may be idiopathic (without any cause).
Though it may affect people of any age group, it frequently affects people aged between 20-60 yrs of age. The chances of brachial neuritis are more in males as compared to females.
What Are Its Symptoms?
In this condition, the pain arises mostly in the shoulder or the upper arm, sometimes the neck too. The pain may radiate from the shoulders to the arms and the hands. The pain occurs suddenly and increases on moving the shoulder and the arm. The pain varies in nature, can be sharp, intense, stabbing, burning or electric shock like that varies from case to case. The pain is generally felt on one side but sometimes may occur on both the sides. With time, the pain goes away, but numbness, weakness and the tingling sensation stays in the shoulders. These symptoms may also occur in the arm and the hands. Severe cases of brachial neuritis may lead to paralysis, and decrease in the muscle mass in the shoulder or the arm. Lastly, if the nerve to diaphragm is affected then it may lead to shortness of breath.