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Anatomy Of The Brachial Plexus

By Jayton Miller

Having trouble with your nerves is an annoying and often painful experience. Learning the anatomy and structure of different areas of nerves allows you to more easily communicate these challenges with a medical professional if medical advice is needed. Let’s take a look at the brachial plexus anatomy...

General Function Of The Brachial Plexus:

General Function Of The Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus extends from the base of the neck and extending into the area under the shoulder known as the axilla. More specifically, it extends from the first thoracic vertebrae up through the lower four vertebrae of the cervical spine (c5-c8). It is a network of nerves that make up the main nerves of the upper body limbs also known as the arms.


Brachial Plexus Anatomy:

Brachial Plexus Anatomy

At each vertebra there is a nerve that comes out and divides into ventral and dorsal parts called “rami.” The complex of nerves branch out as they go over the first rib, and then rejoin as they enter the axilla space. These nerves form the following:

  • Roots - These are known as the ventral rami that come out of the C5-T1 vertebrae of the spine. These go out to either side of the spinal column to each arm.
  • Three Trunks -These lie above the clavicle.
  • Divisions - Coming from the trunks and pass behind the clavicle entering the axilla.
  • Three Cords - These cords lie along the second half of the axillary artery within the axilla and inside the protective covering of the connective tissue of the axillary sheath.
  • Terminal Branches - Leave the axilla and pass into the rest of the arm.

The anatomy of the brachial plexus is rather simple compared to the anatomical structure of other parts of the human body.

Read More: Movement is Medicine | A Guide To Moving Better

Common Challenges With The Brachial Plexus:

The brachial plexus is said to be injured in 1-2 out every 1,000 people that are born. Some of the most common challenges people face with the brachial plexus are:

  • Compression Neuropraxia - When the nerve is mildly stretched, most common in elderly people.
  • Avulsion - When the nerve is torn from the spinal cord
  • Rupture - When there is a partial tear in the nerve from a severe stretch.

Many of these can occur from accidents such as motorcycles, car accidents, or even being attacked such as gunshots and knife wounds. If you have any questions about these make sure to reach out to your medical professional to seek help.

Helpful Tips To Keep The Brachial Plexus:

Some helpful ways to keep the brachial plexus healthy are:

  • Stretching - Stretching the muscles around the upper limbs and creating more range of motion in the joints of the upper body allows for better relaxation and contraction of the associated muscles.
  • Resistance Training - Forming more muscles around the nerves allows for more protection of the nerves and joints. Muscle acts as “armor” and acts as cushion for the bones, joints, and nerves.

These are the most common at home techniques for preventing injury and helping support a healthy brachial plexus.


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Overall, nerve injuries are no joke, they suck. Keeping your body healthy as a whole and making sure to support your nerves and joints with the aforementioned tips will help you prevent injury and support a healthy brachial plexus.