Facing Brachial Plexus Injuries

May 11, 2022

fidget toys to help with skin picking

At Pick ‘N Peel Stones, our company aims to be as inclusive as possible and create an enjoyable experience for everyone. Our products are meant to calm, combat disorders or habits, and satisfy each customer. One of the obstacles we work to overcome is sensory restrictions– brachial plexus injuries in particular. 

Our personal connection to this topic stems from our founder, whose daughter suffered a brachial plexus injury during complications at birth, affecting mostly her left arm with muscle and nerve damage which led to sensory and mobility issues. She has since been an inspiration for the development of Pick ‘N Peel products as interactive toys for kids like her. 

What is the Brachial Plexus?

The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that carries movement and sends signals from your spinal cord to your shoulders, arms, and hands.  

These nerves control the motion of your wrists, hands, and arms and afford you everyday abilities including lifting your arms, texting, or playing catch with a softball. The brachial plexus nerves extend to the skin and are sensory as well, alerting your brain if something that you touch is too hot or too cold to be holding. 

Brachial Plexus Injuries 

A brachial plexus injury occurs when this network of nerves is stretched, compressed, or in serious occurrences, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord. These nerves can be cut or damaged by cancer or radiation as well. In the case of injuries, they typically occur to the neck and can cause pain, weakness, or numbness in the arm and hand.  

A brachial plexus injury cuts off some or all communication between the spinal cord and the wrists, hands, and arms and can inhibit use of these parts of your body. It is not abnormal to lose all sensation in the affected area. 

These injuries and their severities vary widely, depending mostly on the part of the nerves that are damaged and the nature of the injury. Sometimes sensory function and operation of the affected areas return, but other times these injuries can result in lifelong disabilities from the lack of use or feeling in the arm or hand. 

Brachial plexus injuries can occur at birth and typically takes the form of: Erb’s palsy, causing numbness and loss of motion around the shoulder and a lack of the ability to flex the elbow or lift an arm or hand to the mouth, or Klumpke’s palsy, which is less common and leads to the loss of motion and/or sensation in the wrist and hand.  

If the injury occurs in adulthood, it is typically caused by blunt trauma, athletic injuries, gunshot wounds, medical trauma, cancer, or radiation therapy as mentioned previously. These injuries can range from mild to severe and temporary to permanent, all relative to the individual’s injury.   

Sensory Stimulation– Overcoming Obstacles 

Our Sensory Stones are specifically designed to be able to be enjoyed with one hand. There are no tools necessary, which means the stone can be placed on a table and picked with your preferred hand or the hand you are able to use for instant sensory stimulation.  

These stones are perfect to aid in sensory therapy and finger dexterity and make a major impact on people who have suffered a brachial plexus injury. These individuals are not presented with many options for inclusive products that consider potential restrictions, so we are working hard to combat these issues with products like our Sensory Stones. 

Our company at Pick ‘N Peel Stones feels very grateful to work alongside strong individuals who have experienced a brachial plexus injury and work hard to leap over that hurdle. We support you and hope to continue to deliver on products that fulfill our mission to bring each customer joy and satisfaction.

Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2022). Brachial Plexus Injury. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/brachial-plexus-injuries.