Brachial Neuritis

Men age 20 to 60 are most frequently affected by brachial neuritis, although it isn’t a common diagnosis. While the cause of brachial neuritis remains unknown, this affliction typically occurs in conjunction with other conditions, such as a recent bacterial, parasitic, or viral infection; systemic lupus erythematosus; vaccinations; surgery; injury; or giving birth. Brachial neuritis symptoms include sudden, intense shoulder pain (often described as stabbing or burning) that remains constant for hours or days. Often, the pain worsens with shoulder movement and once dissipates, the shoulder feels weak or immobile. Occasionally, brachial neuritis can cause arm or shoulder numbness and shortness of breath–if the nerve to the diaphragm is affected. Treatment for brachial neuritis often includes strong pain-relievers and exercises designed to restore shoulder functioning and muscle strength. Therapeutic exercise programs are supervised by a physical therapist and may run for at least eight weeks. Most people experience pain relief in a week and symptom relief in a couple of months. However, some never regain full shoulder strength. If symptoms do not improve within two years, surgery may be necessary, at which time the surgeon will repair the damaged nerves by applying grafts taken from healthy nerves.