What Are Damaged Nerves?
Hello I'm Alex Mauskop. I'm a neurologist here in New York City and I'm the director of the New York Headache Center. Nerves cover the entire body. There is no spot on your body that doesn't have nerve endings. That is why we have good sensation, when you touch someone you feel the touch and so there are two major kinds of nerves. One is accessory nerves that allows you to feel things, heat, cold, touch and there are other nerves that move your muscles. That is nerve, comes from the brain through a spinal chord and to the muscle and the muscle contracts. Your brain has to give the order. So the nerves can be damaged by a variety of conditions. It could be an inflammation of the nerves, it could be compression of the nerve which often results in a painful condition called neuralgia, inflammation of the nerves often occurs due to viral infection and sometimes for no apparent reason we sometimes cannot diagnose why some people have what we call peripheral neuropathy. So peripheral neuropathy can occur from well known conditions such as diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy. Alcoholism can lead to deficiencies that in turn can cause nerve damage, deficiencies in vitamins such as vitamin B12, thiamine and other vitamin deficiency can cause nerve damage. Nerve damage can occur from pressure during surgery or from sleeping on the arm when you are drunk. We have a funny term from that when you have pressure on this nerve and you sleep on the bench we call it Saturday Night Palsy. People often drink too much and they fall asleep on the bench and they exert too much pressure on the nerve and they have difficult moving the hand. Usually that recovers pretty quickly.