If you sustained a bone fracture, deep laceration or severe soft tissue injury in a crash, the pain may linger even after your injury heals. In some cases, pain and other complications can be permanent due to nerve damage.
Nerves are categorized into two systems: the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (nerves that extend to the rest of the body).
The nerves in the peripheral nervous system can heal over time after sustaining trauma. Nerves in the central nervous system often don't heal and can lead to permanent complications linked to the spinal cord.
Pain caused by nerve damage or compression
There are generally three types of nerves: autonomic nerves (controls involuntary and partially voluntary functions), motor nerves (controls movement) and the sensory nerves (controls pain and other sensations).
Damage to sensory nerves can result in long term or permanent pain to the affected area. The pain can be sharp and excruciating or a dull ache. In addition, it may be localized to one area or radiate from one part of the body to another.
Sensory nerves can lead to pain, numbness or tingling when they are compressed. Here are some examples:
- Nerves in the body pinched by a broken bone, soft tissue injury, or swelling and inflammation.
- Nerves in the spinal cord compressed by a herniated or slipped disc or dislodged vertebrae. For example, you may experience sciatica, a condition that causes sharp pain that radiates from the low back to the feet.
Other health complications linked to nerve damage and compression
Pain and discomfort aren't the only symptoms of nerve damage and compression. People who sustain this type of injury sometimes experience:
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel function
- Loss of mobility, muscle weakness and/or muscle atrophy
- Vision loss or double visions (usually caused by a TBI)
Treatment for nerve-related injuries
Your doctor may monitor damaged or pinched nerves through an MRI or electromyography. If the nerves are healing properly — which can take a long time in many cases — you may only need rest and pain medication.
Surgery and physical therapy are often required when there is no sign of improvement. Corrective surgery if often used to reduce compression on the nerves. The impact of damaged nerves in the spine may also be reduced with surgery and other treatments.
Speak to an experienced Louisville attorney
Your recovery should always be the first priority after a car accident. Your medical treatment may be expensive. You may also need to take time off from work and refrain from certain activities. This is often financially and emotionally devastating for many crash victims.
To make matters worse, the insurance company who represents the other driver will look for any excuse not to compensate you. Let an experienced Louisville car accident attorney at The Whaley Law Firm deal with the other driver’s insurance company, while you focus on healing.
Our legal team will gather the facts, take on the insurance companies and fight to maximize your compensation. Contact us online to schedule your free legal consultation.