Take some time to get a better understanding of neuropathy, learn about its causes and take some steps to stop any activity that may be causing it. Peripheral neuropathy affects the nervous system connecting your brain and spinal cord central nervous system to the rest of your body. This malady often affects the feet, legs, hands, arms, sometimes the mouth and face. It can also affect the internal organs. It causes problems with the muscles in the face.
The nerves deliver signals to your central nervous system so your brain recognizes physical sensations, such as touch, heat, cold etc. You may get pain signals when there is no obvious cause for this sensation. You may get no signal indicating pain even when something is causing an injury or other damage.
Among the many causes for peripheral neuropathy and associated nerve damage are injury, infection, diabetes, inherited problem or disease, toxins including alcoholchemical toxins. The list goes on. You may feel discomfort, such as numbness or tingling in the affected area. You may feel pain, such as a strong burning sensation or a feeling like an electric shock.
People can develop nerve damage throughout their bodies if diabetes is the underlying cause. You may have no symptoms at all, or you may feel the pain, tingling and numbness mentioned. You may even suffer loss of feeling altogether. A majority of people with diabetes develop some type of neuropathy, with the risk increasing as they get older. Learn more about an effective solution at The Neuropathy Solution. Research continues on how elevated levels of blood glucose actually cause nerve damage.
Factors include low insulin levels, duration of diabetes, high levels of fat in the blood, damage to the blood vessels bringing oxygen and nutrients to nerves and extremities, physical injury, inherited traits etc.
Smoking and alcohol use can also contribute to nerve damage and pain. The list of symptoms of nerve damage not only includes the tingling or pain as mentioned, but also weakness or loss of control of muscles. Some people also suffer indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, fainting, urination problems, vaginal dryness, or erectile dysfunction.
They may also experience weight loss or depression as an associated condition not specifically caused by neuropathy. There are three distinct types of peripheral nerve: sensory, connected to skin; motor, connected to muscles; and autonomic, connected to internal organs. Peripheral neuropathy can affect one of these groups or all three. Depending on the individual case, the symptoms may affect not only the feet or hands, but also can cause excessive sweating, a noticeable thinness of the skin, blood pressure fluctuation, muscle weakness etc.
You may need to consult with your doctor to get a professional opinion. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have just started to notice some of the symptoms, you should probably consult with a doctor right away.
If you have just started taking certain prescription medications and you notice one or more of the symptoms mentioned, you definitely should consult with a physician immediately. Prescription drugs sometimes have effects similar to toxins and other exposure to chemicals. Alarming False Facts! This is a special treat. Here are 5 unexpected false facts about neuropathy.
Read the false facts about the causes and treatment procedures of neuropathy your doctor mistakenly promotes. Get them now! Have had this for some time and the symptoms are getting worse because Ihave not seen my consultant for over a year and have never spoken to her about pain release or what I can do to help myself.
I am a sixty seven year old lady and wont to be able to enjoy the remainder of my life.Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord peripheral nervesoften causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.
It can also affect other areas of your body. Your peripheral nervous system sends information from your brain and spinal cord central nervous system to the rest of your body.
The peripheral nerves also send sensory information to the central nervous system. Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins.
12 Signs of Nerve Damage You Might Not Know About
One of the most common causes is diabetes. People with peripheral neuropathy generally describe the pain as stabbing, burning or tingling. In many cases, symptoms improve, especially if caused by a treatable condition. Medications can reduce the pain of peripheral neuropathy. Every nerve in your peripheral system has a specific function, so symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected.
Nerves are classified into:. Peripheral neuropathy can affect one nerve mononeuropathytwo or more nerves in different areas multiple mononeuropathy or many nerves polyneuropathy. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of mononeuropathy. Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy. Seek medical care right away if you notice unusual tingling, weakness or pain in your hands or feet.
Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best chance for controlling your symptoms and preventing further damage to your peripheral nerves. Not a single disease, peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage caused by a number of conditions.
Health conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy include:. The best way to prevent peripheral neuropathy is to manage medical conditions that put you at risk, such as diabetes, alcoholism or rheumatoid arthritis. Peripheral neuropathy care at Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord peripheral nervesoften causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet.
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Peripheral neuropathy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed March 25, What is peripheral neuropathy. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy. Rutkove SB. Overview of polyneuropathy. Feldman EL, et al. Treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Accessed April 3, Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi.Checking Your Feet For Signs of Nerve Damage
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.The ulnar nerve is one of the major nerves of the upper extremity. Nerves are structures that allow information to travel from the brain to the periphery of your body, and nerves can also send messages back to the brain.
Nerves in the upper extremity carry important information about sensations that you can feel, and movements that your brain wants your body to make. When nerve function is impaired, people may experience symptoms of pain, weakness, and abnormal sensation.
The ulnar nerve is one of several major nerves that supply the upper extremities. The ulnar nerve is formed by the coalescence of several major nerve fibers in an area around the shoulder blade called the brachial plexus.
Symptoms of Nerve Damage in Foot (With First Signs)
Tingling and numbness commonly referred to as paresthesia is a sign that nerve signals are being disrupted. The location of the paresthesias is not always the location of the problem that is causing dysfunction of the nerve. For example, in the case of cubital tunnel syndrome, the most common location for paresthesias are in the hand—specifically, the ring and small finger, however, the location of pressure on the nerve is near the elbow joint.
Pain can be a symptom of many medical conditions, and differentiating pain coming from abnormal nerve function can be difficult. Often the pain associated with a nerve condition is also associated with paresthesias as described above. In addition, the pain associated with abnormal nerve function is often experienced as a burning sensation that radiates along the path of the nerve.
When nerve function is impaired, the brain has difficulty communicating to activate specific muscles. In the acute setting, this may be experienced as difficulty with specific activities or strength maneuvers. People with ulnar nerve injuries may have difficulty pinching or grasping objects. This is generally an irreversible problem and is seen by noting areas where the body has lost its normal muscle mass. Holding both hands side-by-side may make signs of wasting more apparent.
Not every individual with a nerve injury or condition impairing normal nerve function will experience all of these symptoms. Most often, people are bothered most by one of these symptoms, and may not even notice the others at all. Other people will have multiple signs of nerve dysfunction. A careful examination will help identify signs of nerve dysfunction, even if they are not experienced as a typical symptom by the individual with the problem.
Injuries to the ulnar nerve can occur at multiple points along the course of the nerve. Other times, nerve problems can be the result of a chronic, long-standing condition that causes gradual deterioration of nerve function over time. Some of the more common locations and mechanisms for ulnar nerve injury include the following conditions. Cubital tunnel syndrome is the name used to describe chronic compression of the ulnar nerve behind the elbow. In this location, the ulnar nerve wraps directly behind the humerus bone along the back of the elbow joint.
Ulnar Nerve Injury
Different structures including ligaments, blood vessels, and tendons have been described as the source of compression in the cubital tunnel. Cubital tunnel syndrome is categorized as a compression neuropathy of the upper extremity. This condition is the second most common type of compression neuropathy, after carpal tunnel syndrome.
Guyon's canal, also called the ulnar tunnel, is a location within the wrist that contains the ulnar nerve. The most common reason for nerve compression in Guyon's canal is so-called "handlebar palsy" when cyclists experience pain and numbness when the nerve is pinched against the bones of the wrist and the handlebar of a bicycle. This is the reason why many cyclists wear padded gloves when gripping the handlebars.The most common reason behind the occurrence of nerve damage in arm is its overuse.
This medical condition is quite common. Fortunately, there are effective medical treatments available to restore the arm to its normal state. Go through this HealthHearty article for further details. Nerve damage in arms is not uncommon. Many people have to suffer from it at some point in their life. If you have developed nerve damage in your arm, then this HealthHearty article can help you a lot in understanding your condition well. The foremost among them is the overuse of your arm.
You need your hands for performing a large number of essential, daily activities. Sometimes, unknowingly, one happens to overuse the nerve supplying the arm. The condition of nerve damage due to excessive usage is called a pinched nerve.
Nerve damage, especially in the arms can lead to a lot of discomfort. One highly uncomfortable symptom of nerve damage in arm is the pain that comes about and radiates through. The region between the shoulder and wrist becomes extremely painful, and one might also experience a tingling and burning sensation as a sign of nerve damage in arm. Sometimes, the arm may get numb as well. If you feel that your arm or the entire hand is getting paralyzed, you should immediately seek medical assistance.
The symptom of paralysis occurs when the condition of nerve damage takes a serious form. The presence of the nerve damage in arm symptoms are, most often, sufficient to indicate to the doctor of the nerve damage brought about.
However, a doctor generally prefers to conduct certain diagnostic tests to confirm the damage of nerves. Such tests mostly include an electromyogram, magnetic resonance imaging, nerve conduction tests, and nerve biopsy. Once the condition is confirmed, the doctor will most possibly prescribe analgesics. In addition to that, he will also prescribe certain pain killers which will arrest and control the stabbing pain that comes about. Along with that, the doctor may also administer steroids.
These medicines reduce the swelling to a large extent. One may also purchase over-the-counter pain killers and steroids if the condition happens to be in the initial stages and the uneasiness does not require you to see a doctor. Otherwise, a medical consultation is a must.There are 12 cranial nerves.
The vagus nerve is the longest of them, and some might say the most important. No matter what the issues are, your vagus nerve is critical to optimal health.
Being the longest cranial nerve, the vagus nerve extends from the brainstem to the abdomen, passing through important organs like the heart, lungs, and esophagus. The vagus nerve contains motor and sensory fibers, and has the widest distribution in the body.
The nerve commands unconscious body procedures like maintaining your heart rate and controlling digestion. Vagus nerve symptoms are closely related to vagus nerve damage and disorder. This condition can lead to severe complications like diabetes. There are several symptoms that are your warning signs. If you notice some of the symptoms, it means you need to stimulate the vagus nerve.
There are two types of vagus nerve symptoms. They are classified in two groups, the first being when your vagus nerve is overactive. The second group is when your vagus nerve is inactive or underactive. The symptoms for the former group develop as a result of overstimulation of the nerve, while the symptoms for the second result from little to no stimulation.
Often, the problem is that vagus nerve symptoms are very similar to IBS irregular bowel syndrome symptoms. And it makes it even harder for physicians to diagnose the condition since many of the conditions do not show up on regular testing unless they get really bad.
Pain is the most common symptom. But you really need to understand the pain, where it happens, and how it manifests. In terms of your damaged vagus nerve, the pain is a result of a mechanical pressure, injury, or trauma that led to inflammatory swelling.
In most cases, the pain is a result of a pinched nerve when the nerve exits through tiny foramina in the skull. The pain you feel is flat and vague, not constant and sharp like someone is stabbing you.
As mentioned at the beginning, the vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve, and it passes through multiple vital organs. When the nerve is damaged, these organs cannot receive the signals and information your body is sending. One of the main functions of the vagus nerve is to supply sensation to the muscles of the vocal cord. Any damage or disorder of your vagus nerve will result in damage to these muscles too. The damage interferes with the voice and breathing.
Any other muscles that are supported by the vagus nerve will be affected as well. Although you might think that a low amount of electrolytes like magnesium and potassium is the cause of your muscle cramps, it might be that damage to your vagus nerve is the cause.
As mentioned earlier, the vagus nerve starts at the brainstem and passes through your entire body. The nerve affects your gag reflex. In the same way that patients suffering from a head injury or stroke have trouble swallowing, patients with damage to the vagus nerve have difficulty swallowing.
General difficulty in swallowing is just the start. One of the more serious vagus nerve symptoms is fainting, which happens when your nerve is overactive and overstimulated.
You experience sudden episodes of fainting and collapse. Although fainting on its own is not life threatening, fainting does increase the risk of accidental injuries.Back to Health A to Z. You may be referred to hospital to see a neurologist, a specialist in health problems affecting the nervous system. Generally, the sooner peripheral neuropathy is diagnosed, the better the chance of limiting the damage and preventing further complications.
Find out more about diagnosing peripheral neuropathy. Nerve pain may be treated with prescribed medicines called neuropathic pain agents, as standard painkillers often do not work. If you have other symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy, these may need to be treated individually. For example, treatment for muscle weakness may involve physiotherapy and walking aids.
The outlook for peripheral neuropathy varies, depending on the underlying cause and which nerves have been damaged. If the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy is not treated, you may be at risk of developing potentially serious complications, such as a foot ulcer that becomes infected.
This can lead to gangrene if untreated, and in severe cases may mean the foot has to be amputated. Find out more about complications of peripheral neuropathy. Polyneuropathy is the most common type and starts by affecting the longest nerves first, so symptoms typically begin in the feet. Over time it gradually starts to affect shorter nerves, so feels as if it's spreading upwards, and later affects the hands.
Page last reviewed: 24 April Next review due: 24 April It includes different types of nerves with their own specific functions, including: sensory nerves — responsible for transmitting sensations, such as pain and touch motor nerves — responsible for controlling muscles autonomic nerves — responsible for regulating automatic functions of the body, such as blood pressure and bladder function Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can include: numbness and tingling in the feet or hands burning, stabbing or shooting pain in affected areas loss of balance and co-ordination muscle weakness, especially in the feet These symptoms are usually constant, but may come and go.
Over time, the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage the nerves. This type of nerve damage is known as diabetic polyneuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy can also have a wide range of other causes. Not all of the underlying causes of neuropathy can be treated. Complications of peripheral neuropathy The outlook for peripheral neuropathy varies, depending on the underlying cause and which nerves have been damaged. Find out more about complications of peripheral neuropathy Different types of peripheral neuropathy Peripheral neuropathy may affect: only 1 nerve mononeuropathy several nerves mononeuritis multiplex all the nerves in the body polyneuropathy Polyneuropathy is the most common type and starts by affecting the longest nerves first, so symptoms typically begin in the feet.Neck nerve damage is painful and cause a lot of discomfort to the patient suffering from it.
Read this article to gather more information related to the symptoms and treatment. The nerves present in the neck area are known as cervical nerves.
There are 8 cervical nerves in this region.
The neck is susceptible to various forms of injury due to which the cervical nerves may get damaged or strained. Other underlying health conditions like herniated discs and bone spurs can have a damaging effect on these nerves. Identification of symptoms at the initial stage will ensure an early treatment for the problem and thus, prevent any further future complications.
The symptoms mostly depend on the location of the affected nerve. Some of the most commonly observed symptoms are:. Pain : The pain is not just confined to the neck but will also get radiated to other areas like the shoulders, back, arms and sometimes, even to the chest region. Some people get a throbbing, dull pain and others may experience a sharp, shooting pain. It is often accompanied by swelling, stiffness and spasms in the muscles. Weakness : The damage is bound to weaken the concerned nerve.
As a result, weakness is felt in almost all parts of the body. It includes shoulders, elbow joints, wrists or hands, fingers, etc.
In some cases, lack of strength may occur in the legs and trunk as well. Numbness and Tingling : Like in any case, this will also give a sense of numbness in the neck, shoulders and arms. Along with it, one may encounter a tingling or prickling sensation in these areas and the upper back region. Respiratory Complications : A serious form of damage in the cervical nerve may cause some respiratory complications. This is because some of these nerves control the functioning of the lungs and the diaphragm muscles and facilitate normal breathing.