Posture and Nerve Injury Pain

by Jamie

I'm 35 years old and around 18 years ago I sustained a pretty severe Brachial Plexus injury; where I snapped 3 of the nerves and tore 2 of them from the spine by the roots.

Near to the time of the accident I had some surgery to try and repair some of the nerves as well as relieve pain.

In recent years the pain I get in my hand has become quite severe and frequent - I believe it was the nerves to my hand and lower arm that I tore from my spine.

I'm pretty sure that the cause is inflammation - and I am working on the root cause of that elsewhere.

But something I have found recently is that I get relief from pain when I tilt my head back (and possibly away from the affected shoulder).

For example if I read in bed with my head propped up by pillows the pain will get worse as I am pushing my head forward. Whereas if I lie of my injured side with the side of my head resting on pillows and tilted back the pain subsides.

Looking at some of your articles and anatomy diagrams I can see why my head being forward may be a problem, especially the location where the affected nerves come from the spine.

I appreciate the nerve(s) could be anywhere and in any kind of condition with lots of scarring etc. And that treating the inflammation is probably the best bet, but I'd like to ask if you have any exercises or lifestyle changes, be it diet, posture etc to suggest that may help combat this pain in combination with reducing inflammation?

Many Thanks in Advance.

Hello Jamie,
To be honest, I've never had a patient with an injury of this nature; the question is whether the nerve irritation is in the spine, or somewhere along the course of the brachial plexus.

A few questions come to mind.
1. Which fingers are affected?
2. Is the upper limb tension test positive; use the search function at chiropractic help to find the procedure.
3. Is there weakness of specific muscles?
4. When the pain in the hand is bad, raise your arm above your head. Do you get relief or is it worsened?
5. What effect does turning your head to the affected side and then looking up have?

I could add more, but lets start with those five. Answer as fully and accurately as you possibly can.

Dr B

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