What are the peripheral nerves?
Peripheral nerves carry simple commands from the brain to the legs, arms, hands and feet. They enable people to perform such basic activities as bending the elbow, buttoning a shirt and stepping forward.
The peripheral nervous system is a vast communications network that transmits information from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to every other part of the body. Peripheral nerves also send sensory information back to the brain and spinal cord, such as a message that the feet are cold or a finger is burned. Damage to these nerves can interfere with these vital connections.
What are signs of peripheral nerve injuries?
Because every peripheral nerve has a highly specialized function in a specific part of the body, a wide array of symptoms can occur when nerves are damaged. Some children may experience:
- temporary numbness
- tingling and pricking sensations (paresthesia)
- sensitivity to touch
- muscle weakness
Others may suffer more extreme symptoms, including:
- burning pain (especially at night)
- muscle wasting
- organ or gland dysfunction
Nerve injuries can be repaired, so it’s important to seek care as soon as possible. Learn about treatment options for peripheral nerve injuries.