Human nervous system is extremely important for coordination of all activities in the body. Because of the nervous system we are able to think, act and behave. The main role of nervous system is to gather surrounding information, interpret it and then respond.
The nervous system is made up of brain, spinal cord and the nerves. Damage or aberration in any of this component can immediately affect the coordination between different systems and body parts.
Nerves are thin thread like wires and contain tiny units called nerve cells. The main function of the nerve cell is to pass or send message to and fro from the brain or spinal cord to different parts of the body.Inflammation of the nerve is irritation or swelling of the nerve. In medical parlance the condition is called neuritis.
What Causes Inflammation Of The Nerves?
Inflammation of nerve can have many causes. It can be caused due to infection, trauma, chemical injury, deficiency of vitamins and minerals, hereditary disease, or some systemic condition.
There are two types of nerve, sensory nerve and motor nerve. Damage or inflammation of sensory nerves can produce tingling, numbness, burning feeling. Inflammation of motor nerves can cause weakness of muscles or paralysis.
Below are some of the causes of inflamed nerve:
- Fracture of bone.
- Diabetes mellitus for long duration.
- Trauma causing pressure on the nerve.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.
- Syphilis and leprosy
- Herpes zoster
- GB syndrome
Nerve inflammation and irritation can also occur due to certain foods that you eat such as frequent consumption of MSG, sugar substitutes, foods that contain traces of mercury and lead. Certain drugs can also cause inflammation of the nerves. These drugs include anti inflammatory drugs, vasodilators, and blood thinners.
Symptoms Of Nerve Inflammation
The symptoms of nerve inflammation depend on the nerve involved or group of nerve that is damaged. The common presentation of neuritis is generally localized. The symptoms are usually apparent on the affected area. The most common symptoms of neuritis is pain. Patient may describe the pain in different forms such as tingling, burning, aching, pricking or stabbing pain. This occurs when the sensory nerves are inflamed.
Weakness of muscles is another common presentation of nerve damage and irritation. This usually indicates motor nerve affection. In some cases there is numb feeling or loss of sensation in the particular area of the body.
In severe inflammation of nerves there may be redness of skin, paralysis of muscles, wasting of different muscles, In case if optic nerve is involved, patient may have loss of vision or blurred vision, pain in eye, etc.
Treatment Options For Inflammation Of The Nerves
There are various treatment measures that may be useful for nerve inflammation. Besides conventional treatment certain type of home care is also useful for curing the condition. Conventional treatment consists of anti inflammatory drugs and analgesics. In some cases steroid tablets and injections are proved beneficial.
Physical therapy for few days or weeks can alleviate the problem to large extent in majority of cases. Homeopathy is also effective alternative treatment measure to alleviate inflammation of nerves.
Home measures include;
- Cold compresses if there is recent trauma.
- Quitting alcohol and tobacco.
- Eating vegetables and fruits containing plenty of vitamins and minerals.
- Avoiding packaged food and foods that contain certain neurotoxin such as lead and mercury even in minor amount.
- Avoidance of sugar substitutes and MSG.
- Control of diabetes.