Montclair Chiropractor Explains Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s Palsy also known as Erb-Duchenne Paralysis is a condition which occurs when there is injury to the nerves that innervate the upper arm and shoulder, collectively called the brachial plexus. Erb’s Palsy is an injury caused at birth and usually diagnosed soon after. The main cause of this injury is due to a difficult delivery in which a child’s neck is over rotated and pulled to one side or . When this is done, the nerves of the upper trunk, C5-C6 get compromised. These nerves form part of the brachial plexus, which comprise of the ventral rami of the spinal nerves C5-C8 and the thoracic nerve, T1.

There are four types of nerve injury that may occur during a difficult delivery in which Erb’s Palsy occurs:

Neurapraxia – a stretch injury which “shocks,”  but does not tear the nerve is the most common type. Normally, these injuries heal on their own, usually within six months.

Neuroma-  a stretch injury that damages some of the nerve fibers resulting in scar tissue formation. Scar tissue may press on the unaffected healthy nerves and cause altered nerve sensation. This may resolve within several months to a year.

Rupture–  results from a stretch injury that causes the nerve to be torn (ruptured). This injury may be repaired by surgery.

Avulsion– this happens when the nerve is torn from the spinal cord. This injury does not heal on its own, and surgery does not repair the injury.

Does chiropractic treatment help patients suffering with Erb’s Palsy?

Chiropractic treatment/adjustments aim at removing nerve interference by correcting subluxations. Subluxations are vertebral misalignments that cause for inflammation which in turn may cause a disc or muscle to put pressure on a nerve thus limiting its function.  Subluxations are diagnosed via imaging such as MRI or Xray as well as by comprehensive exams including neurological and orthopedic testing. Erb’s Palsy patients may benefit tremendously with chiropractic treatment because the symptoms will lesson and may even completely resolve when the pressure is removed from the nerve. Dr. Gary Eshanov, a family chiropractor in Montclair NJ, advises parents of children with this complication not to wait for the problem to self resolve, as it does not in many cases. The family chiropractor states that as long as the nerve injury is not a rupture or an avulsion, chiropractic treatment along with physical therapy is an effective treatment for  Erb’s Palsy. Below are two links for parents interested in reading more about chiropractic treatment and Erb’s Palsy.

(Dr. Gary Eshanov, is a family chiropractor in Montclair NJ. The holistic chiropractor provides patients with chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, clinical nutrition, and yoga by a RYT-500 level certified Montclair yoga teacher. If you are sorting through Montclair chiropractors and are not sure which one to choose, you are invited to schedule a consultation before making a decision. Saturday appointments are available upon request. Most insurances accepted.)