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Ranjini R
Author's Profile

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Crying of a dying nerve

22 September 2021

After striking our "funny bone," many of us have experienced extreme burning, numbness, and tingling. Trauma to the ulnar nerve at the elbow causes this. Sleeping on an arm or leg in a funny position might cause similar discomfort.

Neuropathy is a condition that causes nerves to stop working properly. If a nerve is totally lacerated, it can result in paralysis, albeit absolute paralysis is rare. Numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and discomfort in the affected area are often caused by injury or malfunction of one or more nerves.

 

Examples of peripheral nerve disorders include:

  • Guillain-Barre´ Strohl Syndrome: Since the polio vaccine came into widespread use, GBS has become the most common remaining cause of acute neuromuscular paralysis.

  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIPD)

  • Polyneuropathies

  • Diabetic neuropathies: Tingling in the feet may be caused by a peripheral neuropathy. Early evaluation with laboratory studies may uncover potentially treatable disease such as diabetes and vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Mononeuropathies: Peripheral nerve injuries

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS):

  • Radiculopathies

  • Small fiber neuropathies

  • Occupational neuropathies: Industrial and athletic injuries to nerves such as the stinger in football result in arm weakness and tingling.

Symptoms include

 

Weakness, muscle cramps, twitching, discomfort, numbness, burning, and tingling are all signs of peripheral neuropathy (often in the feet and hands). The type of damaged nerve determines the symptoms, which may appear over a period of days, weeks, or years. Neuropathic pain is difficult to manage and can have a negative impact on one's emotional health and general quality of life. Neuropathic pain is a common occurrence.

 

How to diagnose?

Neuropathy can be a difficult condition to diagnose

  • Tendon reflexes

  • Muscle strength and tone

  • Ability to feel certain sensations, and

  • Posture and coordination could help in diagnosing

Who are at Risk?

  • Diabetes

  • Nerve compression or entrapment

  • Trauma

  • Penetrating injuries

  • Fracture or dislocated bones

  • Tumour

  • Intraneural haemorrhage

  • Exposure to cold or radiation

  • Rarely, certain medicines or toxic substances

  • Vascular or collagen disorders such as atherosclerosis, lupus, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, and rheumatoid arthritis

Treatments

Neuropathy does not usually go away unless the underlying cause is addressed. Controlling a chronic illness will not cure your neuropathy, but it will help you manage it.

Medical Approaches

Neuropathy can be treated with drugs, vitamin supplements, physical or occupational therapy, splinting, or surgery, depending on the reason.

Surgery

Tumors on the peripheral nerves, as well as traumatic and compressive diseases, can occasionally be treated surgically. If a patient suffers medically resistant pain due to diabetic neuropathy, surgeons may consider implanting a spinal cord stimulator.