After you have been involved in a car accident, you might experience pain and numbness in your hands or feet or other signs of muscle weakness. These may all be indications that you have sustained nerve damage.
>Nerve damage, also called peripheral neuropathy, can occur as a result of trauma that involves stretching, pressure or cutting of the nerves, the most serious being cutting. If a nerve has been cut, surgery will be required because the nerve might not be able to repair itself. If pressure or stretching caused the nerve damage, treatment may involve correcting the underlying problem, such as removing a slipped disc. Unfortunately, these are common injuries that may be sustained after a car accident.
Nerve Damage Symptoms
Nerve damage commonly starts in your longest nerves, those that extend to your toes.
- tingling and numbness that begins in your hands or feet and spreads to your legs or arms;
- burning pain;
- sharp, jabbing pain;
- sensitivity to touching;
- loss of coordination;
- paralysis or muscle weakness (when motor nerves are affected); and
- bladder and bowel problems (when autonomic nerves are affected).
Nerve Damage Treatment
- Pain medication Over-the-counter medication may be suitable for mild symptoms. For severe symptoms, your physician may suggest prescription pain relievers.
- Anti-seizure medication You may be prescribed drugs intended to treat epilepsy, such as Dilantin or Neurontin. These drugs have been effective in treating nerve pain.
- Lidocaine patch This patch, with a topical anesthetic, can be applied to the area where pain is most severe.
- Antidepressants Tricyclic antidepressants interfere with chemical processes in the brain to relieve the pain of nerve damage.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation Electrodes placed on your skin deliver a gentle current of electricity. Patients have reported that this eases their nerve damage symptoms.