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Brachial Neuritis or Radiculitis

The brachial plexus is a collection of nerves, one on each side of the body, that help to provide sensation to the shoulders, the arms, the hands, and the chest. Damage to this area, which can occur in many ways, may create a condition called brachial neuritis, which typically affects the shoulders most and is most likely to affect men. It is very difficult to ignore this condition, given the extreme discomfort it creates when it first appears.

Causes

Damage to Bracial plexus area (Shoulders, arms, hands, chest area). There are numerous cause of this disease, including a genetic form of the illness. Other potential risk factors for the condition include having certain autoimmune illnesses, being recently sick with bacterial, viral or fungal infection, or getting immunizations. Alternately, some tumors may result in brachial neuritis symptoms.

Symptoms

Symptoms of brachial neuritis include an onset of pain in the shoulder, usually on one side only. This pain may be observable with other symptoms like loss of reflexes or impaired range of shoulder motion. In complicated cases, since this illness can exist for a long time period, other parts of the brachial plexus fail to supply appropriate impulses to the arms or to the chest, and though rare, breathing may become affected with this failure.

Diagnosis

People should see their doctors, and most do because of the pain, to get a diagnosis, but cause isn’t always easy to determine. Doctors evaluate symptoms and if they suspect brachial neuritis they still may not have an answer as to cause

Notes

Neuritis is a term used loosely to describe symptoms of pain or numbness without nerve degeneration or objective signs of nerve dysfunction. The term "neuritis" should be reserved for conditions in which actual nerve inflammation occurs, such as optic neuritis seen in multiple sclerosis.

Radiculitis is a nonspecific term used loosely to describe pain or numbness in the distribution of a single spinal nerve root, but without objective signs of neurologic dysfunction. Radiculitis is thought to occur from inflammation of nerve roots found within the lowest portion of nerves within the spine.

These terms represent a vague diagnosis. Contact physician for additional information on the specific diagnosis and corresponding treatment.

NOS: NOS is a term used in insurance coding indicating that it is not otherwise specified, or the diagnosis is not more specific.

Helpful Links

  1. http://www.medlink.com/medlinkcontent.asp

  2. Brachial Neuropathy

  3. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/315811-overview

  4. Peripheral Neuropaty

  5. Exercises -- Live Strong

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