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The human body has three types of nerves: autonomic, motor and sensory. Sensory nerves send impulses from muscles and nerves through the spinal cord to the brain. Nerve damage can be caused by a herniated disc, joint or spinal compression or from illnesses like diabetes. In some cases, with proper treatment, nerve damage may be healed.
The sensory nerves in the neck and back vertebrae affect various reflexes, such as arm and leg movement. Failure to treat these sensory nerves can lead to permanent impairment.
Rest From Movement
Most damaged sensory nerves (such as those in the back, neck, elbow and shoulder) require rest for healing. Rest prevents further damage to the nerves. Joint braces can also restrict movement of a muscle or joint and protect a particular nerve.
Antiinflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can relieve inflammation and nerve pain. These medications should be taken regularly while recovering from nerve damage.
Ice and Heat
Ice can be highly effective in alleviating conditions that cause nerve damage. For example, ice can reduce inflammation in soft tissues surrounding a herniated lumbar disc in the back. Heat helps to relax nerves and muscles. Eventually, the nerve can heal when it is extricated from the discs that are compressing it.
Exercise can help increase blood flow to the nerves, which carries nutrients and oxygen for healing.