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What Is “Bikers-Arm” Injury & How Can It Be Treated?

Cruising on the open road in the Florida sunshine can be a lot of fun. But with this fun comes risks. Motorcycles are inherently dangerous because of their two-wheel frame and lack of protection for the rider and their passenger.

“Biker’s arm” is a common injury sustained in motorcycle accidents and can cause lasting pain if not treated properly.

Our accident injury team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills explains what the injury is and how it is treated.

What Is Biker’s Arm?

Biker’s arm, also known as rider’s arm, refers to injuries to the nerves in the upper arm. These injuries occur when a biker either lands on their arm in a crash or the motorcycle lands on their arm. Most commonly this injury is caused when a rider naturally tries to brace for a fall and uses their arms to protect their face.

When this occurs, limited mobility, and in some serious cases, partial or complete paralysis in the arm or hand can be caused by nerve damage.

Generally, a biker’s arm injury involves damage to one of the nerves that branch from the brachial plexus at the base of the neck including the nerves that control movement in the arms, hands, and fingers:

  • Median nerve: Provides motor signals to the base of the hand and forearm.
  • Radial nerve: Powers the movements of the back of the hand and triceps.
  • Ulnar nerve: Provides motor and sensory signals to the fingers.

Symptoms of Biker’s Arm

If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, you might not immediately recognize that you have sustained nerve damage or a biker’s arm injury. It could take weeks for some injuries to manifest.

Some of the most common symptoms of rider’s arm include:

  • Unusual tingling through the arm, hand, and fingers
  • Lack of feeling in the upper arm or shoulder
  • Numbness in your hands, fingers, and arms
  • Arm paralysis

If you have been in a motorcycle accident and are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Treating Biker’s Arm

Treatment for the nerve damage caused by biker’s arm can include physical therapy, manual, chiropractic treatment, pain management, and surgery.

Treating nerve damage can be quite complicated, as a result, the outcome of treatment cannot always be predicted. Depending on the extent of the injury, most people should fully recover with treatment.

Preventing Biker’s Arm

Due to the nature of biker’s arm injuries, they can occur in every type of motorcycle accident. It doesn’t matter if the motorcycle crash is caused by rider error, other motorists, or poor road conditions, it is natural for a rider to attempt to reduce injury by using their arms to brace for the fall.

These injuries are common in these situations:

  • Severe weather
  • Inexperienced riders losing control of their motorcycle
  • Riders under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Intersection or left turn accidents
  • Motorcycle malfunctions

The best way to prevent biker’s arm is to wear the proper gear on every ride, don’t drink and drive when riding, and make sure that your bike and riding skills are well maintained.

Of course, you can’t avoid all accidents, but you can reduce the chances and minimize the damage that they can cause.

Recovery from Rider’s Arm

When you are suffering from injuries from a motorcycle accident, you must seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Not only is this important for your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but it can also help you heal faster.

If you have been in an accident and are experiencing the symptoms of biker’s arm, contact our friendly team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills for an appointment at (813) 706-5156. We’ll help you begin your road to recovery!