What Are the Symptoms of Nerve Damage?2 3
Here are some of the main signs and symptoms of each type of nerve damage:
Sensory Nerve Damage Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of nerve damage are caused by impairment of the sensory nerves.
Tingling. A feeling of prickliness or ‘pins and needles’ often starts in the feet or hands and may spread upwards to the legs and arms.
Numbness. Some people describe a feeling like wearing an invisible sock or glove.
Extreme sensitivity to touch. It may feel painful to touch things, even if you only brush up against them gently.
Loss of balance and coordination. This happens when sensory nerve damage makes you less aware of the position of your hands or feet.
Burning sensations. A burning feeling just under the skin can be a symptom of nerve damage.
Pain due to nerve damage in hands and feet. Stabbing, shooting or throbbing pains with no obvious cause.
Motor Nerve Damage Symptoms4 5
Possible symptoms of motor nerve damage include the following:
Muscle Weakness. Reduced muscle tension can make it harder to grip things tightly, or you might just notice things slipping out of your hands more frequently.
Cramps, muscle twitching or spasms.
Reduced mobility. Motor nerve damage can cause difficulty walking or moving the limbs. A characteristic symptom is difficulty lifting the front part of the foot and the toes when taking a step (also known as ‘foot drop’).
Muscle atrophy. With time, motor nerve damage can lead to thinning and wasting of muscles.
Paralysis. Severe nerve damage can result in the loss of ability to move certain muscles
Autonomic Nerve Damage Symptoms5 6 7
The following could be signs of autonomic nerve damage:
Low blood pressure
Excessive sweating or an inability to sweat
What Causes Nerve Damage Symptoms?3 7 8
Nerves have a crucial role in keeping you healthy and safe by sending and receiving information between your brain and the rest of your body. If the nerve fibers are damaged, these signals can be disrupted, and symptoms can occur.
There are many possible causes of nerve damage, and some groups of people (e.g. diabetics, people on special diets) are at a greater risk.
Some of the most common causes of nerve damage include:
Low levels of B vitamins and other vitamins
Certain medications or medical treatments
Special diets that are low in essential B vitamins and other nutrients
Some infections, including shingles, Lyme disease and HIV
Underactive thyroid gland
Excessive alcohol use
Signs of Nerve Damage You Could Miss7
There are some indirect signs of nerve damage that you could miss, especially in the early stages. Here are some examples:
Falls. A loss of balance or coordination could make you unsteady on your feet. Weak muscles can also lead to trips and stumble. If you find that missteps or falls are becoming more frequent, nerve damage might be a factor.
Injuries or burns.Numbness or reduced sensitivity to touch and temperature could lead to more injuries and burns than usual. Don’t just put it down to carelessness. Those little accidents could be a warning sign of nerve damage.
Dropping things. Do objects just seem to slip out of your hands lately? It might be more than just clumsiness. Muscle weakness due to nerve damage could be the real cause of those broken cups and vases.
Is it Nerve Damage or Something Else?2
Many symptoms of nerve damage are associated with other conditions as well, so it’s not always clear whether they’re the result of neuropathy or something else. This is why it’s important to see your doctor, who can investigate what’s really behind your symptoms. Only then will it be possible to find the treatment or other steps—such as lifestyle or dietary changes—best suited to your needs. You may be advised to take a vitamin B combination such as NEUROBION®.
Now you know that symptoms like numbness, tingling and muscle weakness could be signs of nerve damage. They aren’t always easy to spot and can sometimes be confused with other conditions, or even just dismissed as a ‘normal’ part of getting older—but it’s important to have any potential symptoms checked out as soon as possible. Early diagnosis is the key to protecting and caring for your nerves.