What are nerve conditions?

The nervous system consists of two parts. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system transmits sensory information between the muscles, tissues and nerves in the rest of the body to the brain. When these connections are disrupted, nerve symptoms occur.

Nerve Problems Spotlight

Nerve conditions often originate in the peripheral nervous system and can manifest with burning, numbness, pins-and-needles sensations, muscle weakness or paralysis, and sensitivity. These symptoms may be caused by a local injury, in which the pain can be directly related to a trauma, or a systemic illness that affects your entire body. In referred pain, a more complex condition, the sensation of pain is felt in a different part of your body than where the injury or illness actually occurred. Referred pain is the most difficult to diagnose and treat.

Nerve conditions can arise from one nerve or many. Some syndromes occur when the nerve is compressed and deprived of proper blood flow. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome may develop from repetitive wrist or hand motions. Diabetes is a common cause of peripheral neuropathies (nerve disorders), the result of nerve damage from high blood sugar. Nerve symptoms can also stem from autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus or Guillain-Barré syndrome or viruses such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Epstein-Barr, or varicella-zoster.

Nerve conditions due to a malfunctioning of the autonomic nervous system (part of the peripheral nervous system) may interrupt involuntary actions such as breathing, swallowing, bladder control, or perspiration. They may be accompanied by symptoms of low blood pressure such as dizziness or vertigo, or loss of consciousness.Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms, as they can be life threatening.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of nerve conditions?

The symptoms of nerve conditions are diverse because the nervous system governs or participates in a number of functions as well as body systems, including control of body temperature, blood pressure, muscles, digestion and appetite, movement, and sight.... Read more about nerve conditionssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes nerve conditions?

The causes of nerve conditions are as diverse as the nervous system itself. A common origin for nerve symptoms is the peripheral nervous system, which transmits sensory signals from the rest of the body to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).... Read more about nerve conditionscauses

TREATMENTS

How are nerve conditions treated?

Treatment for nerve conditions begins when you seek medical care from your health care provider. The cause, duration and severity of your nerve condition will determine the appropriate treatment. The goals of therapy are to manage the symptoms, including pain, and to treat the underlying condition, if possible. Therapies include medication, surgery, and injections of local anesthetics, as well as complementary treatments such as biofeedback, acupuncture and massage.... Read more about nerve conditionstreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves