Erb’s Palsy is also known as Shoulder Dystocia or Obstetric Brachial Plexus Injury. Erb’s palsy is a condition where the brachial plexus nerves that supply movement and feeling to the arm are damaged, and this usually occurs after a traumatic birth. Each baby’s symptoms are different depending on the damage done to the nerves and results in difficulty moving their arm. The paralysis can be partial or complete as the damage to each nerve can range from bruising to tearing. Some babies recover on their own, however, some may require specialist intervention.
Tips to Help your Baby’s Recovery:
Always make sure the affected arm is supported and does not hang away from the body, you can use soft toys in the cot to help prevent this.
Always put the weak arm into clothes first when dressing and take it out last when undressing.
Gentle stroking and massage to the arm to provide sensory input will help with recovery. Try to use different textured materials on the arm to increase sensation (e.g. silk and soft brush) and help your baby bring their hands together and touch their face with their hands.
It is important to maintain the range of movement in all the joints in the arm to stop the arm muscles becoming tight. One of our paediatric physiotherapists will teach you the appropriate stretches for your baby and it is advised that you do them regularly (for instance during every nappy change) to get the best results.
Activities and Exercises
As your child gets older our paediatric physiotherapists can advise on appropriate strengthening exercises to help promote recovery of the arm.
Our paediatric physiotherapists can help your child reach optimal function by providing fine motor activities and practicing other skills (e.g. throwing and catching a ball).
Are you looking for a highly specialist paediatric physiotherapist to assess and provide specialist advice and treatment for your child? We can treat your baby the comfort of your own home and we can usually set up an initial appointment within 24 hours. Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email email@example.com