Auto accidents can inflict severe injury to the brain or spinal cord. People who go through these ordeals may suffer comas, loss of muscle control, and could even die. But what if a car collision causes damage to your nerves outside of the brain or spinal cord? Symptoms of this kind of injury may not be apparent at first, but in time you could face serious problems.
The Mayo Clinic explains that nerve damage apart from the spinal cord or brain is peripheral neuropathy. This condition can manifest in a number of ways depending on whether your sensory, motor or autonomic nerves have suffered injury.
Sensory and motor symptoms
Your sensory nerves process sensations from the skin. These nerves are how you feel pain or sensations from touch, or how you discern how hot or cold the temperature is. Your motor nerves work your muscles. Problems with any of these functions could indicate that your sensory or motor nerves have taken damage. Some examples include the following:
- Numbness that spreads up your arms and legs
- Differing sensations of pain
- Pain that should not arise during ordinary activities
- A feeling of wearing clothing over uncovered body parts
Peripheral neuropathy can also impair your ability to walk. Your muscles may feel weak. You could have problems coordinating your movements and you might suffer a fall. Damage to motor nerves can also create paralysis in areas of your body.
In the event you suffer autonomic nerve damage, you may experience problems with certain body functions. Going outside may become unbearable if it is too hot. You might sweat to excess or find you cannot sweat at all. Autonomic nerve problems can also create pain or other problems digesting food. Other symptoms include dizziness from shifts in blood pressure or problems with the bladder or bowels.
Early detection is crucial
If you walk away from a car accident without suffering serious injury, getting an examination may still be in order so you can detect issues like peripheral neuropathy early on. Receiving a diagnosis provides you with a chance to halt progressing damage to your nerves and getting your symptoms under control.