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What Are Nerve Disorders?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2016
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Nerve disorders are abnormalities in the body's nervous system that can lead to pain, mobility issues, numbness, and various other problems. When a nerve is damaged or is not functioning properly, the area of the body served by that nerve can be affected. Nerve disorders can range from being very minor to extremely serious, and some may even lead to death. The most serious nerve issues result from trauma or other injuries to the brain or spinal cord, though congenital defects may also lead to severe nerve problems that can alter one's ability to function properly.

The brain and spinal cord are relatively well protected, but injury to these areas can occur. When the spinal cord is altered or otherwise disrupted, nerve disorders may result. Depending on the severity of the disruption, the results may be nerve disorders that can in turn lead to paralysis, extreme pain, loss of motor skills, altered speech skills, altered heart function, and cognitive disruption. Peripheral nerves that run from the spinal cord to other parts of the body may also be affected, and while the nerve disorders associated with peripheral nerves tend to be less severe, they can still cause serious problems in relation to the normal functioning of the body.

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An example of a relatively minor nerve disorder is sciatica. This occurs when the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back all the way down each leg becomes pinched, damaged, or otherwise disrupted. The person suffering from sciatica may experience numbness in the legs or lower back, or he or she may experience pain in any part of the body served by that nerve. This condition is usually due to daily habits and routines, such as sitting or standing for long periods of time; treatment is therefore focused on changing the habits which are causing the pain, though in the most severe cases of sciatica, a surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.

More serious neurological conditions may be difficult to identify or distinguish from other mental issues, though others are clearly distinguishable. Motor skill issues are often neurological issues; numbness or weakness in a joint, for example, may be the result of an injury, but if it is persistent or chronic, nerve damage may be the cause. Some types of seizures may be the result of certain nerve disorders, and other injuries can be incurred as a result of the seizure event.

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