Nerve Damage in Back

Nerve Damage in Back

Nerve damage in the back can affect all body functions depending on the severity of the condition.

The nervous system is involved in all body functions from regulating breathing to controlling muscles and feeling heat and cold. Nerves are important to everything the body does and nerve pain and damage can dramatically affect the quality of life. Nerve damage from a pinched nerve may be minor or severe and can cause temporary or long-term problems.

Nerves extend from the brain and spinal cord and send messages throughout the body. If there is a pinched nerve (nerve compression) the body sends warning signals such as pain. There are more than 100 types of nerve damage and the different types can have different symptoms and treatments.


There are two main types of  nerve damage including:

  1. Arthritic or traumatic compression of spinal nerves
  2. Nerve damage in the neck

There are three types of nerves:

  1. Autonomic nerves – control the involuntary or partially voluntary activities like heart rate, digestion, blood pressure
  2. Motor nerves – control your movements and actions
  3. Sensory nerves – sense of pain and other sensations

With nerve damage, there may be a wide variety of symptoms and depends on the location and type of nerves affected.

Autonomic nerves can  produce the following symptoms:

  • Inability to sense chest pain
  • hyperhidrosis or anhidrosis (sweating too much or too little)
  • Lightheadedness
  • dry eyes and dry mouth
  • constipation
  • bladder dysfunction
  • Sexual dysfunction

Motor nerve damage:

  • weakness
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Paralysis

Sensory nerve damage:

  • Pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or prickling
  • Burning
  • Problems with positional awareness

Symptoms can indicate two or more nerves are damaged.

There are more than 100 types of nerve damage. The different types can have different symptoms and require different treatment.

Causes of this condition include:

  • traumatic injuries
  • infections
  • metabolic problems
  • inherited causes
  • exposure to toxins
  • diabetes mellitus
  • arthritis
  • surgery
  • age-related


The key to these treating associated problems is anti-inflammatory control with medication and appropriate diagnostic imaging. Nerves can grow and form new insulation that can bring sensation and strength back to some degree.

Early diagnosis and treatment is important and can help avoid permanent nerve damage from occurring.

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