NERVE PAIN VS. NERVE DAMAGE

 4 months ago

written by Sherine Reno, MD


Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage are similar but not the same. The thing about it is, you can have one without the other, but you cannot have the other without the one. Let that sink in. Sounds like a riddle. You can experience nerve damage without nerve pain, but you cannot experience nerve pain without nerve damage. That may seem odd to you, but when you understand the difference between the two, you will understand how nerve pain and nerve damage works. Both are such a bother, but there are ways to get relief.

How Do Nerves Work, Exactly?

Nerves are all over the body. They work through electrical impulses. The nerves control the heartbeat, the lungs, and even muscles. You probably do not associate nerves with these parts of the body, but they are what control them. Without nerves, these body parts would not function properly. Nerve functions through electrical signals. As these signals are triggered, it creates a ripple effect until an action is produced. The brain controls it all. The brain acts like a tree. The nerves are like roots that extend out from the bottom of the tree. Although you cannot see them, they are crucial for the proper functioning of the brain. If there is damage, the brain cannot communicate with the area of the body that experienced the damage.

How Nerves Affect Your Game

If you are an athlete, nerve pain and nerve damage can end your career. It’s hard to have real success in your sport when you’re always in pain. For athletes, nerve pain and nerve damage tend to affect the extremities. Peripheral nerves are mostly affected. Athletes often experience injuries in their arms and legs. No matter what sport you play, it requires the use of your extremities. Over the years, your body undergoes a lot of wear and tear. Sometimes these injuries lead to pinched and damaged nerves. The bones and joints shift, and it can put pressure on the nerves. If that pressure is not resolved, you can end up with permanent nerve damage; causing lifelong weakness and numbness. When nerves become totally severed, you will end up with paralysis. If you are paralyzed, you have damaged your nerve, but you will not have any nerve pain. An accident can cause paralysis, but injury, especially, sports injuries are another reason. Normally paralysis is only in small portions of the body like the fingers or wrist. It is rare to become paralyzed in the arms and legs, but with the right amount of force, it is possible.

Treatment Can Help

No one likes being in pain, especially nerve pain. The pain can be irritating, and sometimes pain meds do not solve the problem. If you play sports, nerve pain is not a good sign. Seeing a sports medicine specialists is the best option at this point. They can analyze where the nerve pain or nerve damage is and provide you with the best treatment. Do not ignore nerve pain. Get the treatment you need before it becomes permanent.

Dallas Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Sherine Reno is a Board Certified American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist focusing on performance sports medicine and injection procedures. Dr. Reno is Medical Director of Performance Sports Medicine, a clinic devoted to the treatment of pediatric to elite level athletes. Dr. Reno has been named 2015-2016 Top10MD an honor only 1-in-3 doctor’s in the United States succeed with this recognition. Contact Dr. Reno today on her profile or call 214.342.0400.

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