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What is Erb's Palsy?

Erb's Palsy, also known as brachial plexus paralysis, is a condition involving damage to the nerves that supply the arm in a baby.

What causes Erb's Palsy?

Damage to the nerves usually occurs as a result of trauma sustained during a difficult delivery and childbirth. The severity of symptoms may vary according to the amount of nerve damage sustained ranging from mild weakness to complete paralysis of movement and sensation in the arm. Potential for recovery will be dependent on the number of nerves affected and the level of damage sustained. Some children may recover fully whereas others may be left with permanent muscle weakness and loss of function.

How can Physiotherapy help Erb's Palsy?

The presentation of Erb's palsy will be individual to each child and before treatment begins a thorough assessment of the child's range of movement, muscle strength, sensation and overall function will be required to establish appropriate treatment. This may include:
  • Activities and exercises to promote recovery of movement and muscle strength
  • Exercises to maintain range of movement in the joints to prevent stiffness and pain
  • Exercises to promote increased awareness of the arm
  • Provision of splints to prevent secondary complications and maximise function
  • Advising parents on appropriate handling and positioning of the child and home exercises to maximise the child's potential for recovery
  • Referral to Occupational Therapy for assessment of function in day to day activities

passive mobility and stretch exercises for the arm and shoulder performed by a paediatric neuro physiotherapistAbove: passive mobility and stretch exercises for the arm and shoulder performed by a paediatric neuro physiotherapist

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Erb's Palsy

  • Improved muscle strength and range of movement
  • Reduced pain
  • Improved functional use of the arm
  • Improved independence
  • Reduced risk of secondary joint stiffness
  • Improved quality of life and independence

Why Manchester Physio?

  • Immediate treatment to maximise results
  • One on one treatment
  • Full involvement of parents throughout treatment
  • Specialist physiotherapists
  • Motivated, caring staff
  • Proven track record
When a child has Erb's palsy parents can be distressed and anxious about future treatment. Our team of specialist paediatric physiotherapists can provide the specialist treatment and support required to achieve the best results possible for your child.

Manchester Physio can provide treatment of Erb's palsy across a broad area covering Greater Manchester and Cheshire. We can provide assessment and treatment at our clinic, a child's school or at your home for your convenience.

See our testimonials to read about the experiences of current and past patients.

To find out more please contact us or arrange a free phone consultation.

To arrange an appointment book online, call now on 0161 883 0077 or email:

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