Did you know that an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from nerve damage? Despite the prevalence, there’s not a lot of awareness. Many people don’t know the causes, signs, and symptoms of damage.
Early detection is the key to successful treatment and preventing complications. Due to a lack of education, damage often goes undetected and gets more extensive. This results in permanent damage.
To help increase education and awareness, we put together this brief guide to answer the question,
What Is Nerve Damage?
Your nervous system starts in your brain and heads down your spinal cord. From there it branches out to your arms, legs, and extremities. Your nervous system communicates messages from the brain to the limbs and back.
Nerve damage is damage to any part of this network. All the the point of damage will be affected.
Signs of Nerve Damage
If your nerves are damaged, you’ll experience discomfort that can range from tingling to pain. Common signs of damage include the following:
- Numbness in the extremities
- Tingling sensations
- Feelings of constriction
- Muscle weakness in the limbs
- Dropping objects
- Sharp pains in the hands or feet
- Buzzing sensations, similar to an electrical shock
Nerve damage is usually worse in the injured area. For example, if you suffer from sciatic damage in the lower back, you’ll experience symptoms in your legs and feet more than your arms.
Causes of Nerve Damage
Damage can be caused by trauma and injury, such as in a car accident. However, it can also occur as a symptom of a larger and more dangerous disease.
Damage is often comorbid with diabetes. Almost 70% of people with diabetes have some level of damage. This is the most common cause of damage.
Other autoimmune diseases like lupus, Guillain-Barre, vacuities, and rheumatoid arthritis can result in damage. In addition, viral and bacterial infections like hepatitis B, leprosy, and HIV can also lead to damage.
Some other conditions like cancer and bone marrow disorders can also cause damage. Because damage can be a sign of many dangerous disorders, it’s important to get it checked out as soon as early symptoms are detected.
Treating Nerve Damage
Because there are a wide variety of potential causes, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for nerve damage. A proper diagnosis will inform the treatment plan.
However, a course of medication and physical therapy can help improve symptoms. In the long term, a healthy diet and exercise routine can also help mitigate pain and discomfort.
Be Proactive About Nerve Damage
Now that you know what is damage and how to detect it as early as possible, it’s important to remain vigilant for the early signs. Rapid detection is the key to a full recovery. So, if you notice something’s off, it’s best to seek treatment immediately to avoid permanent effects.
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