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The ins and outs of nerve damage

The nerves in your body control involuntary functions, senses and movements, and are essential for almost every activity in your daily life. From regulation of your blood pressure and heart rate to pain sensations in your skin, your nerves affect your entire system.

If you suffer nerve damage, it could lower your qualify of life significantly.

Causes

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, many types of trauma can lead to nerve injuries. For example, if you are in a car accident, it could injure nerves in a particular area of the body or in your spine. Cuts, bruises, sprains and strains can harm them, as well.

Compression in your neck or back may pinch nerves, and this can happen in a single event, such as a slip-and-fall accident, or it could develop over time if you have a non-ergonomic work space. Electrocution and gunshot wounds are also common sources of damage.

Classification

Your doctor will classify your injury by degrees, much as he or she would describe damage from a burn.

  • First-degree damage is typically both reversible and temporary.
  • Second-degree injuries affect the electrical connections through the nerves, but these are often treated without surgery.
  • Third-degree classification indicates that the nerve structures are damaged and may need cleaning or grafting repair.
  • Fourth-degree damage includes scarring that keeps nerves from regenerating, and a neurologist must perform a nerve-grafting procedure to correct the issue.
  • Fifth-degree nerve damage signifies complete division, often through a severe laceration or other serious injury. Surgery is the only way to correct this level of harm.

Neurologists often reach a diagnosis through imaging tests or with tests that identify the electrical currents that pass through the nerves.

Symptoms

WebMD notes that you could experience different kinds of symptoms depending on the types of nerves affected. Motor nerve injuries could cause muscle weakness or paralysis, while sensory damage could cause tingling, burning, numbness and pain. If the injury affects the autonomic system, you may become lightheaded, experience dry eyes or have more serious issues, such as the inability to detect chest pain.

If you sustain injuries because of the negligence, carelessness or aggressive behavior of another person, you may want to call an attorney who understands the complexities of nerve damage.

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Law Offices of Mark A. Thiel
3439 Brookside Rd., Suite 205
Stockton, CA 95219

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