Where is the brachial plexus located?
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves formed by the anterior rami of the lower four cervical nerves and first thoracic nerve (C5, C6, C7, C8, and T1). This plexus extends from the spinal cord, through the cervicoaxillary canal in the neck, over the first rib, and into the armpit.
Function. The brachial plexus is responsible for cutaneous and muscular innervation of the entire upper limb, with two exceptions: the trapezius muscle innervated by the spinal accessory nerve (CN XI) and an area of skin near the axilla innervated by the intercostobrachial nerve.
- The medial brachial cutaneous nerve carries sensation from the lower medial portion of the arm. The medial antebrachial cutaneous arises from the medial cord of the brachial plexus. It derives its fibers from the eighth cervical and first thoracic nerves and at its commencement is medial to the axillary artery.
- Brachial plexus neuropathy (BPN) occurs when nerves in your upper shoulder area become damaged. This can cause severe pain in your shoulders or arms. The pain associated with BPN generally occurs suddenly and may be followed by weakness in a specific muscle of the arm or shoulder.
- The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that originate in the neck region and branch off to form most of the other nerves that control movement and sensation in the upper limbs, including the shoulder, arm, forearm, and hand.
A traumatic brachial plexus injury involves sudden damage to these nerves, and may cause weakness, loss of feeling, or loss of movement in the shoulder, arm, or hand. The brachial plexus begins at the neck and crosses the upper chest to the armpit.
- These are some of the more common symptoms of compressed nerves:
- Pain in the area of compression, such as the neck or low back.
- Radiating pain, such as sciatica or radicular pain.
- Numbness or tingling.
- "Pins and needles" or a burning sensation.
- Weakness, especially with certain activities.
- In most cases of brachial plexus birth palsy, it is the upper nerves that are affected. This is known as Erb's palsy. The infant may not be able to move the shoulder, but may be able to move the fingers. If both the upper and lower nerves are stretched, the condition is usually more severe than just Erb's palsy.
- The lumbar plexus is a web of nerves (a nervous plexus) in the lumbar region of the body which forms part of the larger lumbosacral plexus. It is formed by the divisions of the first four lumbar nerves (L1-L4) and from contributions of the subcostal nerve (T12), which is the last thoracic nerve.
Updated: 4th November 2019