Brachial plexus trauma (BPT) often affects young patients and may result in lasting functional deficits. Standard care following BPT involves monitoring for clinical and electrophysiological evidence of muscle reinnervation, with surgical treatment decisions based on the presence or absence of spontaneous recovery. Data are emerging to suggest that central and peripheral adaptation may play a role in recovery following BPT. The present review highlights adaptive and maladaptive mechanisms of central and peripheral nervous system changes following BPT that may contribute to functional outcomes. Rehabilitation and other treatment strategies that harness or modulate these intrinsic adaptive mechanisms may improve functional outcomes following BPT.