Of the billions of nerves in the body, peripheral nerves make up the majority. These nerves are responsible for sending messages to the central nervous system: the brain and spinal cord. When they’re functioning properly, they send information to the brain that allows it to regulate tasks like movement, pain sensitivity, organ function, and much more. When the peripheral nerves become damaged, it’s a serious condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy affects about 20 million Americans and while it’s typically linked with diabetes, it can also be caused by other illnesses, genetics, injury, alcoholism, or even certain medications.
How does nerve damage happen? Nerves are made of fibers, protected by tissues that cover them. Nerve damage can affect that insulating tissue, the nerve fibers themselves, or both. Typically, this damage occurs slowly, which is good news in that it gives you a better opportunity to catch it before it progresses. Spotting the signs of nerve damage early offers a better chance of repairing nerve damage before it’s irreversible. So, what are the signs of nerve damage?
Tingling, numbness, or burning: A pins and needles feeling that doesn’t go away warrants prompt medical attention.
An injury that happens because of a lack of sensation: If you suddenly seem more accident prone, with burns, cuts, or other trauma you didn’t notice when it was happening, it could be nerve damage.
Difficulty moving your body: Muscle weakness and even paralysis are signs of nerve damage. If you suddenly have trouble moving part of your body, head to the emergency room.
Pain running down one leg: A constant pain that runs from the lower back down the back of your leg could indicate sciatica, which means the sciatic nerve is compressed or damaged.
Sudden clumsiness: When large nerves are damaged, this damage can cause a lack of coordination that can lead to falls.
Urinary issues: This could mean urinating too frequently or having trouble emptying the bladder.
Brief, intense headaches: Headaches that feel like an electric shock can be a sign of occipital neuralgia, which happens when a nerve in the neck is pinched.
Unusual sweating: If you’re sweating too much or too little, there could be a problem with your nervous system.
If you’ve noticed signs you might have nerve damage, trust Oregon Medical Centers to help. Founded in 1989 as First Choice Chiropractic, Oregon Medical Centers was established in 2018 after adding Medical Providers and becoming an integrated medical facility. Specialists in treating car accident and workplace injuries, we also provide nerve damage treatment and address conditions like sciatica, TMJ, neck and back pain, headaches, joint pain, and much more. We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and regenerative medicine, and we specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Our dedicated medical team provides high-level care and compassion for patients in a collaborative environment where patients get the best possible treatment. What’s more, our insurance department assists in the insurance process, to alleviate stress for patients and allow them to focus on getting better. For more information, to find a location, or to schedule an appointment, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, or contact us through our website.