Peripheral Nerve Injuries


Peripheral nerves function as the communication lines between the brain, spinal cord, and the rest of the body, enabling sensations like cold feet and facilitating movements necessary for walking. These nerves consist of axons, which are fibers encased in protective tissue.

However, peripheral nerves are delicate and prone to injury. When these nerves are damaged, it can disrupt the brain’s ability to coordinate with muscles and organs, a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

Prompt medical attention for any peripheral nerve damage is crucial. Seeking early medical intervention can help avoid further complications and irreversible harm.


The symptoms of peripheral nerve injury depend on the specific nerve fibers affected. Often, injuries to peripheral nerves impact various types of nerve fibers, leading to a diverse array of symptoms. These symptoms can vary in intensity from mild to severe and may significantly disrupt daily activities.

Possible symptoms for each type of nerve include:

  • Autonomic nerves: Possible symptoms include excessive perspiration, blood pressure fluctuations, heat intolerance, and gastrointestinal problems. This cluster of neurons controls automatic processes like respiration, heart and thyroid function, and food digestion.
  • Motor nerves: If these nerves are damaged, muscle weakness, painful cramps, and uncontrollable muscle twitching may be felt. These nerves control the muscles that are consciously used, like those for walking, talking, and grasping objects.
  • Sensory nerves: Damage to these nerves can lead to symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, difficulty sensing pain or temperature changes, challenges with walking, maintaining balance with closed eyes, or buttoning clothes. These nerves transmit information about touch, temperature, and pain.

If any of the signs and symptoms persist, consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment, especially when there is weakness, tingling, numbness, or complete loss of sensation in a limb. Early diagnosis and treatment is vital to recovery.


Peripheral nerves are susceptible to damage from a range of sources, including narrowing of arteries, hormonal imbalances, physical trauma from accidents, falls, and sports injuries, as well as medical and autoimmune conditions. Specific medical issues such as diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and carpal tunnel syndrome, along with autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome, can lead to peripheral nerve injuries. These injuries may manifest through stretching, compression, crushing, or severance of the nerves, impacting their function significantly.