Erb’s palsy can be a debilitating, lifelong condition, but there are several different ways that you can help your child cope with it to aid in their full recovery. Many of these steps are ones that you can take on your own, while others will require a medical professional. However, the good news is that a child with Erb’s palsy generally has a good prognosis for recovery, and taking an active role to manage the condition can help.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a type of paralysis affecting the brachial plexus and nerves in the shoulder. This can impact muscles throughout the arm and deprive a child of its use. Erb’s palsy often occurs as the result of a birth injury, wherein the child is grabbed by the arm during delivery and pulled, stretching the arm, muscles, tendons, and nerves. An Erb’s palsy attorney can help you recover damages for the injury if your child was injured due to the result of negligence by a medical professional.
How to Help Your Child With Erb’s Palsy
If your child is diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, these are some of the steps you can take to help them recover:
Sign Up For Occupational and Physical Therapy
Regular physical therapy can be vital to the recovery of your child if they have Erb’s palsy. Their muscles will be put to work in ways that can support and accelerate their recovery. Children’s bodies are developing rapidly at this age which makes it vital that they keep their arm in motion if they feel they’ve lost the ability to use it to its full extent. Physical therapy can help to increase your child’s general mobility, while occupational therapy can help them navigate daily tasks.
Monitor Your Child
One of the best steps that you can take is to monitor the health of your child and any change in their condition. Erb’s palsy can manifest in several different ways, including the following:
- Loss of sensation, feeling, or control in the affected arm
- Weakness in the affected arm muscles
- Inability to move the affected arm or shoulder
If your child hasn’t recovered after the first year, they may require more extensive procedures to heal their condition, up to and including various surgeries.
In some extreme cases of Erb’s palsy, your child may benefit from Botox therapy, which can relax their muscles and increase their mobility. This may give them the chance to exercise muscles that otherwise would be too tight to move. However, there’s not much research on the effectiveness of this type of therapy for aiding recovery.
Don’t Blame Yourself
One of the best ways that you can take care of your child is by taking care of yourself. It’s easy to blame yourself for your child’s injury. However, you had no responsibility for what happened. Blaming yourself won’t change anything, except for the worse, as it can make it harder for you to relate to and interact with your child, thereby hindering their recovery.
Erb’s palsy often clears up within the first year of your child’s life, especially if you commit to regular therapy for them. However, sometimes, the injuries that caused the condition are too severe to heal on their own. Your child may require surgery to repair the damage and could live with restricted use of their arm for their whole life. Taking steps to obtain compensation in case this happens for your child and their reduced quality of life and earning potential is vital to helping them and your own ability to cope with their condition.
About the Author
Katherine Webre is a passionate writer with years of experience in legal. She has dedicated her career to represent the most vulnerable among us, children who have suffered severe injustice. Beyond legal action, Katherine also takes up the pen to raise awareness and inform audiences about birth injuries. By sharing her expertise, she hopes to empower people to act against any prejudice and works as a collaborative editor for Birth Injury Lawyer.