Top Signs You May Have a Nerve Injury

Did you wake up one morning and find that you were stumbling to the bathroom because you couldn’t feel much sensation in your feet? You may have nerve damage. 

More than 20 million people in the US suffer from nerve damage. It can be mild or become very painful and debilitating. Nerve damage is often associated with diabetes, but there are numerous other causes: repetitive motion injuries, Lyme disease, trauma from an accident, autoimmune disorders, and more. Any of the symptoms can be unsettling. It’s not normal when you’re unable to feel the floor as you walk. 

That type of nerve damage is called peripheral neuropathy. It means there’s a breakdown somewhere in the nerves that send signals between your brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) to other parts of your body. This nerve network enables you to feel hot and cold temperatures and pain, move your muscles so you can walk and run, and it involves many other messages to different parts of your body that enable you to function normally. 

The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine treats patients with nerve damage every day using the most advanced technologies on the market. Whether your peripheral neuropathy has caused numbness, pain, or other symptoms, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and pain management specialists are here to help manage your nerve injury and restore you to health. 

Common signs of nerve damage

Symptoms of nerve damage can vary. Following are some of the top signs you may have a nerve injury.  

Numbness

If your feet or hands become numb for no good reason, you may have nerve damage. Your sensory nerves have been affected. These nerves control your sense of touch or your ability to feel temperature or pain from a burn or cut. Numbness that begins in your hands or feet may move into your arms and legs. 

Stabbing, burning pain or tingling 

Instead of numbness, you may feel tingling or a painful burning sensation in your hands and feet that can travel to your arms and legs. Your sensory nerves are also the culprit here. 

Pain from even a gentle touch; cramps 

Sometimes peripheral neuropathy can cause cramps or sudden severe pain. Your nerve receptors can react spontaneously without any stimulus. You might feel intense pain from something soft like a sheet or blanket that shouldn’t cause any discomfort. Pain from neuropathy can worsen at night, affecting your sleep. 

Weakness in arms or legs; difficulty in moving 

If you have unexplained weakness in your legs or arms, making motion difficult, you may have nerve damage. These symptoms are also signs of a stroke, so if they come on suddenly without explanation, you should visit the emergency room. Muscle weakness is likely a sign of motor nerve damage. Parkinson’s disease damages motor functions, so you should definitely get your symptoms checked out. 

Feeling clumsy and uncoordinated

Have you been dropping items in the kitchen, breaking glasses or dishes that slip out of your hands? Or perhaps you’re stumbling because you’re not picking up your foot completely when you walk. You may have sensory and motor nerve damage. Your lack of coordination can lead to a fall.  

Injury from inability to feel pain 

Does your hand have a burn because you picked up a pot on the stove and didn’t sense how hot the handle was? Your sensory nervous system isn’t sending the proper pain signal to your brain when your fingers hold the pot handle. If you have cuts or burns because you didn’t feel the impact of touching a hot or a sharp object, you likely have neuropathy.  

Sweating; intolerance to heat

Do you start sweating even though you haven’t exerted yourself? Perhaps you’ve become intolerant to heat. You may have autonomic nerve damage; nerves carrying signals to your sweat glands aren’t working properly. 

Diagnosis and treatment

Your board-certified pain management specialists at The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine order special tests to determine how to best treat your condition if you have pain or any other symptoms of nerve damage. They order an electrical test that measures the performance of your nerves and muscles. The results give them information that helps guide your treatment. 

Call or book an appointment online with The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine today if you suspect you have symptoms of neuropathy. For general inquiries, you can also send a message to the team here on the website.

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