Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Sensory nerve pain can be a life-changing problem for patients

A catastrophic injury is any kind of injury that severely damages the spine or brain. Spinal fractures, skull fractures, damage to the spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries may all qualify as different kinds of traumatic injuries.

With catastrophic injuries, the reality is that your life is going to change. One of the side effects of these injuries that can be particularly painful is nerve damage with nerve pain.

3 types of nerves are located in your body

Damage to some types of nerves can be excruciating. The nerves in the body include:

  • Sensory nerves, which relay information from your skin and muscles to the brain and spinal cord (including pain sensations).
  • Motor nerves, which control your movements.
  • Autonomic nerves, which control involuntary or partially voluntary activities (blood pressure, temperature regulation).

Of these, the sensory nerves are the nerves most likely to cause chronic pain. Sensory nerve damage can cause symptoms including:

  • Sensitivity
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Prickling or tingling
  • Trouble with positional awareness
  • Burning

It is normal for people to have nerve damage symptoms that indicate injuries have occurred to two or more kinds of nerves. For example, you may have signs of muscle atrophy from damage to the motor nerves while suffering from burning sensations due to sensory nerve damage.

Did you know that there are over 100 kinds of nerve damage?

With so many types, it's no wonder that handling nerve damage can feel like a case of trial-and-error. Various kinds of nerve damage do require different treatments to see positive effects.

For some people, nerve damage is treated with medications. Others may benefit from physical therapy or surgery to address trauma or compression that is affecting the nerves. Some common medications used to treat nerve damage and pain include:

  • Some types of anti-seizure medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Capsaicin cream

Some patients have also found relief through alternative therapies such as the use of electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), meditation, massage, acupuncture and others.

Nerve damage is treatable, though it may not be able to be cured depending on the cause. If you have been hurt in a crash or other incident, it's usually a good idea to make sure you're seeking compensation from the at-fault party, so that they can cover the medical care you need. Chronic nerve pain can be difficult to live with and is something for which you may need to seek ongoing medical treatment in the future.

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