Nerves are involved in everything the body does, which means nerve damage can be life-changing. Some nerve damage can be repaired, while other nerve damage is permanent. Identifying and treating nerve damage may help minimize its impact.

Knowing more about nerve damage, including how to spot signs of nerve damage, can help you determine whether you are experiencing symptoms that need to be addressed by a medical professional. If you have sustained nerve damage because of someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to take legal action.


What Is Nerve Damage?

Nerves are crucial parts of the body that transmit messages between the brain, spinal cord, muscles, and organs. Without properly functioning nerves, you may not be able to tell when something is hot or cold. Nerves tell you if a body party has been injured and even when to breathe. It is important to get medical care for nerve damage as soon as possible.


Three Types of Nerves

Not all nerves are the same. There are different types of nerves that do different things. Here are the three different types of nerves and what they do.

Autonomic nerves

Involuntary or partially voluntary body functions are controlled by these nerves. These functions include heart rate, digestion, temperature regulation, and blood pressure.

Motor nerves

These nerves pass information from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles to control your movements.

Sensory nerves

Information from your skin and muscles is communicated to your spinal cord and brain by sensory nerves. Pain and other sensations are controlled by this process.


How to Spot Signs of Nerve Damage

When nerves are unable to carry the correct signals from the brain to the spinal cord, it can cause a number of different symptoms depending on the severity and location of the damage. Symptoms of nerve damage may include:

  • Tingling or numbness in the feet and hands;
  • Muscle weakness, most commonly in the arms or legs;
  • Sharp pains in the hands, arms, legs, or feet;
  • A sensation of wearing a tight glove or sock;
  • A buzzing feeling, similar to a mild electrical shock; and
  • Unintentionally dropping an object you are holding.

These are some of the most common symptoms of nerve damage and are usually caused by damage to motor nerves. Autonomic nerve damage can impact the body in unexpected ways. Damage to autonomic nerves might cause:

  • Sweating too much or too little,
  • Lightheadedness,
  • Constipation,
  • Inability to sense chest pain,
  • Dry mouth and eyes, and
  • Bladder dysfunction.

Because signs of nerve damage can also indicate other issues, it is important to see a physician if you have experienced any of these symptoms of nerve damage.


Common Causes of Nerve Damage

Nerve damage can be caused by certain health conditions, injuries, or substance use. Below are a few common causes of nerve damage.


Damage from injuries

Some of the most common causes of nerve damage from injuries include car crashes, slip and falls, and sports injuries. These can sever or damage peripheral nerves. The pressure from a cast or crutches can also exacerbate nerve injuries.


Pressure on the nerves

Repeated motions, such as typing, cause continuous pressure on the nerve. Over time this can result in nerve damage.



Certain medications have been shown to cause nerve damage as a side effect.



This is a common cause of nerve damage and is a problem for more than half of people with diabetes.


Exposure to poison

Toxic substances like industrial chemicals and heavy metals can cause nerve damage. Lead and mercury are included in these substances.



Certain viral or bacterial infections, including hepatitis B and C, Lyme disease, leprosy, shingles, Diphtheria, and HIV, can cause nerve damage.


Autoimmune diseases

Nerve damage can be caused by a number of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, vasculitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and more.


Vitamin deficiencies

The vitamins crucial to nerve health include B vitamins B-1, B-6, B-12, vitamin E, and niacin. It is important to know that alcoholism can cause a reduction in vitamins that can result in nerve damage.


Trust Petro Cohen for Your WEAR and TEAR Claim

Petro Cohen, P.C. has assisted injured workers in South Jersey for decades with an emphasis on WEAR AND TEAR™ or repetitive stress injuries. The firm’s Workers’ Compensation Department has more than 100 years of combined experience, among Department Head and Senior Partner Frank Petro, Partners Suzanne Holz Meola, and Terri Hiles, and attorneys Daniel Rosenthal and Sam Scimeca. Working together with you, they will ensure you receive the medical treatment you need and the compensation you deserve. Petro Cohen, P.C. has offices to serve you in Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, and Hamilton, NJ. To determine if you may have a potential workers’ comp and/or personal injury case, schedule your free and confidential consultation with a Petro Cohen, P.C. attorney by calling 888-675-7607. You can contact us through our online form or via 24/7 live chat at