3 Well-Known Symptoms of Nerve Damage

3 Well-Known Symptoms of Nerve Damage

Peripheral nerve damage affects more than 20 million Americans. Peripheral neuropathy means that the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord are damaged. These nerves send information to and from your brain and spinal cord and affect feeling and sensation. Nerve damage could be the reason for your unexplained pain or other symptoms. 

If you don’t get relief from conservative treatments for nerve damage, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Coastal Empire Orthopedics perform nerve repair to help restore your quality of life.

What are common symptoms of nerve damage? 

Following are three common symptoms of nerve damage


Do you have unexplained pain in your extremities? Perhaps you have a sharp, burning pain extending down your leg. Perhaps it’s only in the upper or lower part of the leg. It may feel instead like a pulsing, throbbing pain. The pain could be in your hands or arms as well. 

Numbness or pins and needles sensation 

You may experience a tingling sensation in your hands or feet, like sharp pins and needles pricking your skin. On the other hand, your hands or feet might feel numb. The lack of feeling may extend to your arms and legs. 

Muscle weakness

Are you experiencing unexplained muscle weakness? Do you feel like you might drop your cup of coffee after picking it up? Maybe it’s getting challenging to brush your teeth because it’s hard to pull your hand up to your mouth. 

Why do I have nerve damage? 

Nerve damage can occur from numerous causes. Among a long list, the following are some of the most common reasons you may have nerve damage. 

Diabetes/metabolic syndrome

Diabetes is one of the most common reasons for nerve damage. More than two-thirds of diabetes patients have nerve damage. The nerves affecting sensation may result in burning pain, tingling, or numbness in your extremities. 

If you have metabolic syndrome, with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, you’re at increased risk of nerve damage. 

Nerve compression from trauma or orthopedic conditions

If you’ve suffered a sports injury, a motor vehicle accident, or other trauma, it may result in nerve compression in your neck, back, or extremities; whiplash and a pinched nerve are two examples. 

Nerve compression also stems from orthopedic conditions. If you have scoliosis, the curve in your spinal cord may result in nerve compression in the lumbar area. You can also develop neuropathy from spinal stenosis and other similar conditions that affect the spinal cord. 

Autoimmune diseases/Cancer

About one-third of people with cancer develop nerve damage from cancer treatment and other related problems. You’re more at risk if you have an autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis or lupus. 

Treatments for nerve damage 

Following are effective treatments for nerve damage. If conservative treatments don’t work, your expert orthopedic surgeon with Coastal Empire Orthopedics can perform nerve repair to minimize or eliminate your painful symptoms. 


You’re probably already taking over-the-counter pain medication if you have burning pain from neuropathy. Your doctor can prescribe a specific drug that helps reduce nerve pain, and he may prescribe a topical cream or recommend an over-the-counter remedy. 

Physical or occupational therapy 

Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to help restore range of motion and flexibility in the affected area. Occupational therapy helps you cope with your limits and helps you figure out workarounds and learn new skills so that you can remain independent. 

Assistive devices/aids

Your doctor may prescribe a splint or brace to help support the affected area. We can prescribe custom orthotics to help correct faulty biomechanics in your feet and provide extra support. 


If your nerve damage stems from compression due to a herniated disc, tumors, or infections, you can get relief from nerve repair if other treatments haven’t worked. Your doctor trims away damaged tissue and reconnects the nerve or performs a nerve graft by transferring a nerve from another part of your body to the affected area.

Book an appointment online or call Coastal Empire Orthopedics today for expert treatment for painful nerve damage. 

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