Nerve Damage - Serious Nerve Injuries
The nervous system is a part of everything the body does. It regulates breathing, controls muscles and senses temperature. Nerves are an essential part in so many body functions. So, if you suffer from nerve pain or damage, it can have a significant impact on your quality of life.
Types of Nerves in the Body
There are three types of neurons, or nerves, in the body. Motor nerves control movement. They pass information from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles. Autonomic nerves control heart rate, blood pressure, temperature regulation and digestion. Sensory nerves are why we feel pain and other sensations because they relay information from the skin and muscles back to the spinal cord and brain.
Symptoms of Nerve Damage
Since there are three different types of nerves and they are located throughout the entire body, there is a wide array of nerve damage symptoms. Which nerves are damaged and where they are affected have a significant impact on the type of symptoms that the victim will suffer.
If you sustain damage to your motor nerves, you may experience twitching, muscle atrophy and even paralysis. Trauma to autonomic nerves can result in excessive sweating, lightheadedness, constipation, sexual dysfunction, bladder dysfunction and an inability to sense chest pain. Damaged sensory nerves can result in numbness, sensitivity, burning, tingling and issues with positional awareness.
It is even possible for victims of nerve damage to sustain trauma to multiple types of nerves in a single incident. In such cases, the consequences may include a combination of symptoms such as lightheadedness, weakness and burning all at the same time.
Causes of Nerve Damage
There are many different types of nerve damage and they all have different symptoms and treatments. Here are a few examples of the many causes of nerve damage:
- Cancer: Cancerous masses can push against or even crush nerves resulting in nerve pain or damage. Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can result in nerve damage as well.
- Trauma: Whenever the nerves are impacted or compressed, it can result in nerve damage. Examples of nerve damage injuries from trauma include pinched nerves and crush injuries. You can suffer significant nerve damage in a slip-and-fall accident, sporting accident or car accident.
- Drugs: Many powerful medications, especially those used to treat cancer or HIV, are known to cause nerve pain.
- Diseases: Lou Gehrig's disease results in progressive nerve damage. Infectious diseases that can affect nerves include herpes viruses, hepatitis C and Lyme disease.
- Vitamin deficiencies: Having low levels of vitamin B6 or B12 can result in nerve pain or even nerve damage.
- Dog bites: Severe dog mauling incidents could result in nerve injuries.
- Defective products: Products that are poorly made or designed can also cause nerve injuries. An example is transvaginal mesh products that have been known to cause serious nerve injuries.
Treatment for Nerve Damage
Many nerve injuries are permanent. There are a number of treatments, however, that can reduce the symptoms. It is important to remember that nerve damage is often progressive, which means it gets worse over time. This is why it is important to see a doctor when you first notice symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment will greatly reduce the likelihood of permanent damage.
Treatment may begin with treating the underlying condition that may be causing the nerve pain or damage. This may include surgery, physical therapy, nutritional deficiency correcting or the regulation of blood sugar levels. Then, the treatment may involve lessening the nerve pain through pain relievers, antidepressants or anti-seizure medications. Some people have experienced great success with alternative methods such as acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation or hypnosis as well.
Types of Nerve Damage
- Peripheral nerves
- Compressed nerve
- Radial nerve
- Obturator nerve
- Brain nerve damage
- Oculomotor nerve
- Foot or finger nerve damage
- Axillary nerve damage
- Trochlear nerve damage
- Sciatic Nerve
The Cost of Treating Nerve Damage
Unfortunately, the treatment for nerve damage can be expensive. Since nerve damage rarely heals fully, many victims require treatment for years. Depending on the severity of the damage, some victims are not able to return to work and others can only return in a limited manner. Fortunately, there are legal options available for some victims of nerve damage.
If you have suffered nerve injuries on the job, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for your losses through workers' compensation insurance. If your work related injuries resulted from a defective product or the negligence of someone other than your employer, you may be able to file a third-party claim as well.
When nerve damage results from a traffic accident, victims can file a claim against the driver responsible for the crash. In such cases, support may be available for medical bills, future medical treatments, lost wages, pain and suffering, physical therapy fees and other related damages.Image credit