How can doctors tell nerve damage?

CT or MRI scans can look for herniated disks, pinched (compressed) nerves, tumors or other abnormalities affecting the blood vessels and bones. Nerve function tests. Electromyography (EMG) records electrical activity in your muscles to detect nerve damage.


How do doctors know if you have nerve damage?

Electromyography (EMG).

In an EMG , a thin-needle electrode inserted into the muscle records the muscle's electrical activity at rest and in motion. Reduced muscle activity can indicate nerve injury.

What is the most common symptom of nerve damage?

Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves), often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet. It can also affect other areas and body functions including digestion, urination and circulation.


Is nerve damage hard to diagnose?

Nerve conditions can be hard to diagnose, and many patients live for years without an explanation or effective treatment for their muscle weakness or pain. Our specialists understand that the cause of a nerve condition is not always obvious and often requires a bit of detective work to uncover.

What do damaged nerves feel like?

Nerve pain often feels like a shooting, stabbing or burning sensation. Sometimes it can be as sharp and sudden as an electric shock. People with neuropathic pain are often very sensitive to touch or cold and can experience pain as a result of stimuli that would not normally be painful, such as brushing the skin.


How You Know If You Have Peripheral Nerve Damage



What is the best test for nerve damage?

An EMG test helps find out if muscles are responding the right way to nerve signals. Nerve conduction studies help diagnose nerve damage or disease. When EMG tests and nerve conduction studies are done together, it helps providers tell if your symptoms are caused by a muscle disorder or a nerve problem.

What triggers nerve damage?

High blood sugar levels over a long time can damage your nerves. Other health conditions that may cause neuropathy are: Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Chronic kidney disease.

What happens if nerve damage goes untreated?

If the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy isn't treated, you may be at risk of developing potentially serious complications, such as a foot ulcer that becomes infected. This can lead to gangrene (tissue death) if untreated, and in severe cases may mean the affected foot has to be amputated.


At what point is nerve damage permanent?

As a specialist in peripheral nerve surgery, Dr. Seruya wants his patients to know that after a period of 12-18 months nerve damage can become permanent.

Can doctors prove nerve damage?

CT or MRI scans can look for herniated disks, pinched (compressed) nerves, tumors or other abnormalities affecting the blood vessels and bones. Nerve function tests. Electromyography (EMG) records electrical activity in your muscles to detect nerve damage.

Can nerve damage go unnoticed?

Because nerve damage can have many silent symptoms, it often goes undiagnosed in the early stages.


Can nerve damage go undetected?

The numbness may go unnoticed if it causes no pain. Nerve pain in idiopathic peripheral neuropathy is usually in the feet and legs but can also be in the hands and arms. People describe their unexplained nerve pain in different ways: Burning.

Does an MRI scan show nerve damage?

Does an MRI scan show nerve damage? A neurological examination can diagnose nerve damage, but an MRI scan can pinpoint it. It's crucial to get tested if symptoms worsen to avoid any permanent nerve damage.

Does nerve damage need to be treated immediately?

It's important to get medical care for a peripheral nerve injury as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent complications and permanent damage.


Does nerve damage need to be repaired immediately?

For this reason, Dr. Lipinski advises people who experience nerve trauma or injury to seek treatment as soon as possible for the best outcomes. “If a person is evaluated two years after an injury, we can't fix the nerve directly because the muscles will no longer be functional.

What kind of doctor treats nerve damage?

Neurologists are specialists who treat diseases of the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nerves and muscles. Neurological conditions include epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's disease. Dr.

How permanent is nerve damage?

In many instances, nerve damage cannot be cured entirely. But there are various treatments that can reduce your symptoms. Because nerve damage is often progressive, it is important to consult with a doctor when you first notice symptoms. That way you can reduce the likelihood of permanent damage.


Can a damaged nerve heal itself?

When one of your nerves is cut or damaged, it will try to repair itself. The nerve fibres (axons) shrink back and 'rest' for about a month; then they begin to grow again. Axons will regenerate about 1mm per day. The extent to which your nerve will recover is variable, and it will always be incomplete.

What should you avoid if you have nerve damage?

8 Foods That You Should Avoid if You Have Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Gluten. ...
  • Alcohol. ...
  • Added Sugars. ...
  • Refined Grains. ...
  • Trans and Saturated Fats. ...
  • Salty Snacks. ...
  • Heavy Metals. ...
  • Produce with Pesticides.


What can make nerve damage worse?

High levels of stress and anxiety can amplify your pain. Physical stress and exertion can increase your nerve pain as well. Strenuous exercise and the accompanying soreness can contribute to nerve pain during the night. Living in a chronic state of stress will wreak havoc on your physical and mental health.


Is nerve damage test painful?

The impulse may feel like an electric shock. You may feel some discomfort depending on how strong the impulse is. You should feel no pain once the test is finished. Often, the nerve conduction test is followed by EMG.

What is the treatment for nerve damage?

The main medicines recommended for neuropathic pain include: amitriptyline – also used for treatment of headaches and depression. duloxetine – also used for treatment of bladder problems and depression. pregabalin and gabapentin – also used to treat epilepsy, headaches or anxiety.

Can nerve damage been seen on xray?

Answer: Damaged nerves cannot be seen on a regular X-ray. They can be seen on CAT scan or MRI, and in fact, MRI is recommended for examining details of the spinal cord. For example, MRI can demonstrate tumors of the spinal cord and nerves that extend from the spinal cord called nerve roots.


How do neurologists treat nerve pain?

Multimodal therapy (including medicines, physical therapy, psychological counseling and sometimes surgery) is usually required to treat neuropathic pain. Medicines commonly prescribed for neuropathic pain include anti-seizure drugs such as: Gabapentin (Neurontin®). Pregabalin (Lyrica®).

What are the symptoms of L5 nerve damage?

A pinched L5 nerve root usually results in radiating pain in the foot. This pain can come in the form of numbness, tingling, weakness and shooting and is commonly felt in the big toe, inside of the foot, top of the foot and ankle. Radiculopathy of the L5 nerve may also cause loss of coordination in the foot and toes.