Damaged Nerve Symptoms

Written by jay p. whickson
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Damaged nerves include both the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Neuropathy is a term associated with damage to the peripheral nerve system. The peripheral nerves cause the body to move in response to signals from the brain. They also carry information to the brain from the senses. Since the nerves cover so much area and do so many things, damaged nerve symptoms vary according to the location and task of the injured nerve.


Brain damage or spinal cord damage is, essentially, central nervous system damage. Peripheral nervous system damage occurs in nerves that aren't included in the central nervous system. They control three varying functions. The specific types of nerves show different symptoms. Motor nerves control motor functions such as walking. Sensory nerves control the senses and the feelings relayed back to the brain. Finally, autonomic nerves affect the involuntary bodily functions such as blood pressure or bowel functions.

Damaged Motor Nerves

Damaged motor nerves appear as muscle spasms, cramps and weakness. You may have trouble with coordination. Sometimes, damage causes muscles to twitch; often, there's also muscle atrophy. Paralysis occasionally occurs if the damage is extensive.

Damaged Sensory Nerves

Most people associate peripheral nerve damage with the sensory nervous system. This type of damage often causes the skin to burn or exhibit extreme pain even if lightly touched. A sheet touching the leg can feel like a painful electrical shock, for example. Sometimes the damage causes numbness, much like the feeling when your leg falls asleep.

Damage to the Autonomic Nerves

There are several different symptoms associated with nerve damage to the autonomic nerves. The type you display depends on the location of the nerve damage. Damage to these nerves affects the body's involuntary functions. There may be high or low blood pressure, irregular or abnormal heart rate, too much perspiration or none at all, incontinence, constipation, dry eyes, sexual dysfunction and dry mouth.

Damage the Central Nervous System

Central nervous system damage affects all areas of the body, since the spinal cord transfers information to the brain and the brain is the centre of all nerve messages. If there is brain damage, you'll notice similar disturbances in the body that occur with peripheral nerve damage, depending on the location of the injury, growth or tissue damage. The spinal cord is responsible for controlling the smooth muscles, cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle and glands.

Time Frame

Damage to the peripheral nerves frequently shows more symptoms at night. You may have injury or damage in several locations and types of nerves. The symptoms may suddenly appear or slowly progress through the years. The cause of the nerve damage often dictates how suddenly the symptoms appear.

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