Signs of Nerve Damage

Your nerves are involved in everything you do, from jumping jacks to breathing exercises. Nerves transmit impulses of sensation to the brain or spinal cord and, in turn, deliver impulses from these areas to the muscles and organs in your body. Without nerves you cannot function, which is why so many people with nerve damage experience debilitating pain. To better understand this problem, it helps to understand more about how nerves work in your body.

Types of Nerves

In the human body, three different kinds of nerves exist: autonomic nerves, motor nerves, and sensory nerves.

Autonomic nerves control involuntary and partially voluntary movements like your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation. Motor nerves control purely voluntary actions by passing signals from the brain and spinal cord to your muscles, while sensory nerves transmit signals from your skin and muscles to your spinal cord and brain. Once this information is processed you feel sensations like pain.

If your nerves have been damaged, your quality of life is seriously threatened. But how can you tell if the pain you feel stems from your nerves or is in any way linked to nerve damage?

Symptoms of Nerve Damage

If you suspect you may have nerve damage, there are dozens of symptoms to consider. This is because there are different symptoms that can appear for the different types of nerves you have. Signs of autonomic nerve damage may include the following:

  • Inability to sense chest pain or an upcoming heart attack
  • Too much or too little sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes

Motor nerve damage symptoms can include:

  • Weakness
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Twitching
  • Paralysis

Finally, sensory nerve damage can appear in the following ways:

  • Pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Numbness
  • Tingling, prickling, or burning sensations
  • Difficulty being aware of your body’s movement and position

It is possible to experience symptoms from two or more different categories, involving more than one type of nerve. Approximately 1 out of every 50 Americans suffer from peripheral neuropathy, or weakness, numbness, and pain from nerve damage that is usually centered in the hands and feet. Dr. Marc A. Cohen can evaluate your pain to determine the root cause and develop a strategy to help you manage it. Book an appointment or call 973-538-4444.