If you are asking the question “What is Erb’s Palsy” it is normal to feel a little worried or even afraid. The name of this disorder sounds scarier than it is. The answer to this question is that Erb’s Palsy is a disorder involving nerve damage that is not all that uncommon. It’s also important to note that Erb’s Palsy is not a debilitating condition. It is treatable, and success in life is possible as is seen through the life of Martin Sheen.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s Palsy is a disorder that involves nerve damage at the brachial plexus nerve set. This nerve set is near the neck and extends to the nerves of the arm. When this set of nerves is damaged or injured, a palsy or paralysis occurs that is the result of the loss of feeling in the arm.
This loss of feeling or mobility in the arm isn’t always a total paralysis. It may just mean weakness or a loss of motion.
Erb’s palsy is not uncommon and often occurs during childbirth. This kind of Erb’s palsy impacts one or two out of every 1,000 births. In time with rehab, or in extreme cases, surgery, the palsy can be corrected and treated.
But when it can’t be corrected or treated, life and success can go on for the patient.
Inspiring Stories of Erb’s Palsy
Martin Sheen has Erb’s Palsy. Despite this, he played the President of the United States on TV in West Wing, and nobody ever knew. He revealed this in an interview once when asked about the trademark method he uses to put his coat on and chalked it up to a birth defect. That birth defect is Erb’s Palsy.
Grace Clough is an MBE and a gold medalist rower from the UK. She has won World Championships in rowing in 2014, 2015, and 2017, and she won the Gold in the 2017 Paralympic Games. She underwent surgery for the palsy, but still struggles today, to the gold medal win.
Erb’s palsy is not something the patient is always born with. Sometimes it is a condition developed later in life as a result of nerve damage. One study on 13 military cadets revealed a prevalence of Erb’s Palsy as a result of a certain brace being worn. They went on to live normal and successful lives.
Support is Available
When you are wondering “what is Erb’s palsy” know that the answer is not as bad as you might think. Erb’s palsy is a condition of nerve damage that is not always a lifelong problem. In many cases it is treatable. In many others, it is livable. If you or a loved one has Erb’s palsy, it is manageable, and success is still possible.