Pain? Pins and needles? Bladder problems?
Twitching? Diarrhoea? Any of these could be a symptom of a nerve
-related condition. Read more below.
How do I know if I have a nerve-related condition?
Only a proper diagnosis from a GP, osteopath or similar professional can tell you if you have a peripheral nerve-related condition. Peripheral nerve-related conditions can be indicated by one or more of the following symptoms (though the list is not exhaustive) so if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below it is wise to seek professional advice.
- pins and needles, tingling or prickling sensations
- burning sensations
- loss of sensation in the extremities
- positional awareness problems
- feeling of heaviness in arms or legs
- reduced muscle bulk
- bladder problems
- sexual dysfunction
- digestion problems
There are three types of peripheral nerve: the sensory nerves which take sensory information from the skin and muscles back to the brain and spinal-cord; the motor nerves which connect the muscles to the brain and spinal-cord; and the autonomic nerves which regulate the internal organs including stomach, heart and body temperature.
One of the most common causes of nerve pain is usually compression of the nerves. However, the causes of nerve pain or nerve damage are numerous and require a qualified medical diagnosis. Sometimes more than one nerve is affected.
Causes of nerve pain or nerve damage can include:
- direct trauma to the nerves or spinal cord
- pressure on the nerves anywhere along their pathway
- autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis
- certain medications
- chemotherapy and radiation
- motor neuron disease
- certain viruses such as Epstein Barr or herpes simplex
- Lyme disease
- exposure to toxic chemicals or heavy metals
- hepatitis C
- nutritional deficiencies
- physical trauma
- carpal tunnel syndrome
Treatment for nerve pain depends on the cause of the pain. Change of medication can help if medication is the cause, as can correcting nutritional deficiencies or reducing alcohol consumption. Osteopathy or some form of physical therapy can be very helpful in certain conditions.
Please note that the above information is very brief and condensed; for proper diagnosis and treatment, please see your GP or Osteopath.