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Axillery Nerve Damage, Delt Atrophy



I am a former martial artist, bodybuilder, and powerlifter who got severely injured 4.5 years ago in a submission wrestling tournament. I dislocated my shoulder and injured my spine. However, the worst injury was the axillery nerve damage, which made me unable to feel or move my shoulder muscle, which lead to complete atrophy of the muscles.

It was pretty scary to just have a bone for a shoulder, and even worse to lose all my dreams and plans. However, I have not given up hope. My shoulder is still improving each day, even if just by the one little cell more. I can feel it still itch and grow.

I just want to know anything I can do at all to help me heal: supplements, equipments, doctors, therapies, HGH, testosterone, etc.

For the FIRST time in 4.5 years, electric stim is able to actually move my shoulder, which is a great sign. Thus, I am seriously considering buying a medical grade one, especially the Russian Stim ones, but I have no idea which one to get and which company to go with.

I will do whatever it takes to heal, and I really appreciate your suggestion and help.

PS. I just made a website on the injury and recovery. I posted all the details I have on there, and I hope you can pass it on to anyone who may help.


Thank you so much!


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The doctors did not tell me what happened exactly as they did not know, but they said it most likely got stretched out severely, compressed, crushed, and maybe entrapped as well:

  1. the shoulder was out of socket for 3 hours before it went back in
  2. the chest and shoulder were black and blue for 6 weeks, and doctors told me to ice it to get rid of swelling and that caused compression
  3. my shoulder is still out of socket most of time due to the weakness of the muscle that cannot pull it up

It was not crushed or severed to my knowledge, as it has made signs of recovery. Doctors said if it had been severed, it would not grow back.

Thank you so much!


This area is totally out of my range of experience unlike lower back pain but have you researched about ART?


As you know there are limitations to what I can advise without physically examining you.

Have you seen a physician?

If it is indeed nerve damage, certainly the longer away from injury without improvement, the worse the prognosis. In general peripheral nerves grow at the rate of 1mm per day. 4.5 years, is 1.6 meters.

The nature of the injury you have described describes either a brachial plexus injury or as you have described a single isolated axillary nerve injury.

I hope that sometime during this period a physician has considered an MRI of your shoulder, as well as an EMG. The EMG can tell you if you have nerve damage, as well as the extent of nerve damage. If you have severe nerve damage, an operative intervention to help reconnect the peripheral nerve may be an option. The prognosis for such a procedure is usually worse, the longer one waits. The procedure is done to reconnect severed nerves in hopes that some remake useful connections. If you have no function of your axillary, nerve other types of procedures, where other nerves are re-routed to denervated areas to give them a chance at regaining movement, may be another option. Your options of course, would be better explained by a neurosurgeon that specializes in peripheral nerve injuries.

To summarize, I would strongly suggest that you consult with a physician so that you can make an educated decision within available options.



You can't speed up nerve damage recovery. Now, if there was an entrapment issue or something, then yeah, freeing it would be great, but it sounds to me like you had a traumatic injury a long time ago. I'm actually impressed that your shoulder is moving with e-stim after so long.

Best of luck to you, but I doubt anybody on this forum can help you with words alone. Just keep strong mentally and try to move it everyday and maybe you can reestablish a mind body connection faster (assuming the nerve is actually healing and the muscle hasn't been completely destroyed... two major issues with nerve damage).


Hi Joab,

Thank you for the recommendation. I have used ART, and it has been amazing. The problem is that due to the injury and compensations, I keep getting knotted and scarred up on a daily basis. I also begin to roll as well to help it get better. Great technique!

Anyone you recommend? I am seeing the doctors at Chiro-Medical Group in San Francisco, and have seen Dr. Janzen of San Jose as well. Both are great!


Hi beef,

Wow, thank you for your kind time and detailed explanation. It is extremely helpful. Sorry I was not more clear on the details, as I was not sure how much to put on my first post. I have seen many physicians, over 50 to be exact, and they have done EMG's and other tests. Yet, even these experts are not sure if my injury is axillery or brachial plexus as well. Though, there is definitely a SPINAL component to the injury.


Sorry it is not that clear on the graph. I need to figure out how to make it display better, but you can see that my right and left nerve amps both shot up, with my left from 1.8 to 12, and my right from 19 to 28, over the 4.5 years. There is both a local nerve damage and spinal compression component to the injury.

With the nerve graphing, I saw a Stanford neurosurgeon and he told me he wanted to use my tricep nerves for it. Thus, I would lose part of my arm, and he was not sure if my shoulder would take in the new nerve either.

All the very best,


Hi Edward,

What do you recommend for removing entrapment of the nerves?

Thank you for your encouragement and advice. I am definitely moving it daily and keeping faith, even though I had lost it for a while.

The nerve is healing, though slower than what should have happened. I know my nerve were not cut off completely, or else it would not have come back at all. I know that it is hard to help with just words, so I made a site with pictures and other medical details. I am hoping that somehow, this will find someone who has also healed from a similar injury, because I know I can't be the only one with it!

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so grateful for your feedback. It's lonely dealing with injuries, and it helps to even hear a few words, even if it's online.


For nerve entrapment, you'll need to find a qualified expert to evaluate you. I'd recommend a physical therapist who does ART.


This is almost similar to my situation. I've always enjoyed lifting for most of my life. 16 months ago, I awoke with my left neck/trap area in severe pain (I slept in an akward position). I thought it was just a stiff neck, but after 2 weeks, I went to the doctor. The first doc thought it was a pulled muscle...but after 2 additional weeks went by, and with the pain getting worse, I discovered my left pectoral had gone flat....and my left arm was numb. It was so bizarre...it looked like it collapsed! I then had an MRI that showed 2 herniated cervical discs. The doctor wanted to do surgery, but I was hesitant and wanted to wait a little longer. I eventually saw yet another doctor who believed I made the right decision. Anyway...it took almost 6 months for the pain to go away. I then tried to slowly get back into lifting, but found my left pec. was extremely weak. I couldn't even do a pushup! I continued to work through it...doing mainly dumbells...and even doing extra sets on just the left pec. Today, as it stands, I've regained about 95% of my strength back in my left pec...and it's starting to look more even with the right pec. I'm hopeful that I'll be 100% soon. My situation was less severe than yours....but there is hope. I took extra B and C vitamins to help with my nervous system...along with flaxseed for general inflamation (the nerves can't heal unless they're free...not pinched)


Thank you for the great tip. What type of expert do you suggest as the best one? It is frustrating since the experts I have seen all said they have not seen a case like mine before, or, if they have, they have not seen it successfully healed before.

I do have a physical therapist who knows ART, but for whatever reason, he has not done as much ART on me. The chiropractor does do it, but his appointment are only 15 minute sessions. Maybe I'll ask him to do more of it. Thank you!


Hi Iron,

Congratulations on the recovery and all the hard work you put in! I am interested in which doctor you saw specifically to help you deal with the nerve. Was the diagnosis basically spinal compression that caused the nerve to shut off, or was there more things going on?

I appreciate the great tip on the B, C, and flax seed oils supplements. I have a general multi that has already 500% of B vitamins, but I suppose more could only help, right?

Did you take B, C, and flax together as one, or separately? Or does it not matter?

If you think of anything else that has helped you, please do let me know!

All the very best,


Hi Andrew,

I have also experienced paralysis and atrophy. It was my anterior tibialas due to a nerve tumor that formed on the right deep peroneal nerve. I have had this for nearly 9 years, so I have experienced near complete muscle wasting, resulting in a drop foot. Thankfully, I retain sensation and there is no real pain, just muscle weakness. Recently, I have been able to feel the muscle moving slightly when trying to move it... a good sign indeed. I had a surgery to remove the tumor and have been hitting everything hard in the gym and rehab. I am not sure if you mentioned near infrared laser light therapy (880 nm) for nerve regeneration). There is also ongoing research at the University of Indiana about how large doses of testosterone can help in preserving and even repairing motor units. There is also Cucurmin, Methylcobalamin (vit b12), ALCAR, Idebenone, and cissus that can add to the help.

Good luck,