What are the signs of nerve problems?

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.

Nerve Problems Spotlight

Nerve symptoms 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, when the pain can be directly related to a trauma, or a systemic illness that affects your entire body. Referred pain is a more complex condition when you feel the sensation of pain in a different part of your body from where the injury or illness actually occurred. Referred pain is the most difficult to diagnose and treat.

Nerve symptoms can arise from one nerve or many. Some syndromes occur when a 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. Seek prompt medical care if your nerve symptoms cause you concern.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with nerve symptoms?

Nerve symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Nerve symptoms 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 symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes nerve symptoms?

The causes of nerve symptoms 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 symptomscauses

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