Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage

Your nervous system is involved in everything your body does, from regulating your breathing to controlling your muscles and sensing heat and cold.

There are three types of nerves in the body:

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

Angela Lansbury Investigates Lou Gehrig’s Disease

A gun is fired from somewhere off-screen directly at actor Angela Lansbury, who sits calmly, speaking into the camera. As the slow-motion bullet travels straight toward her, she explains this is how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, attacks your body. “You know what’s coming, but you can’t do anything about it.” Then, after an appeal to the audience to support global research efforts, she stands and walks boldly off-screen, dodging the bullet just in time...

Read the Angela Lansbury Investigates Lou Gehrig’s Disease article > >

  1. Autonomic nerves. These nerves control the involuntary or partially voluntary activities of your body, including heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation.
  2. Motor nerves. These nerves control your movements and actions by passing information from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles.
  3. Sensory nerves. These nerves relay information from your skin and muscles back to your spinal cord and brain. The information is then processed to let you feel pain and other sensations.

Because nerves are essential to all you do, nerve pain and damage can seriously affect your quality of life.

What Are the Symptoms of Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage?

With nerve damage there can be a wide array of symptoms. Which ones you may have depends on the location and type of nerves that are affected. Damage can occur to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. It can also occur in the peripheral nerves, which are located throughout the rest of your body.

Autonomic nerve damage may produce the following symptoms:

Damage to motor nerves may produce the following symptoms:

Sensory nerve damage may produce the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or prickling
  • Burning
  • Problems with positional awareness

In some instances, people with nerve damage will have symptoms that indicate damage to two, or even three, different types of nerves. For instance, you might experience weakness and burning of your legs at the same time.

What Causes Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage?

There are more than 100 different types of nerve damage. The various types may have different symptoms and may require different types of treatment.

It is estimated that about 1 in 50 Americans suffers from peripheral nerve damage. This type of damage becomes increasingly common with age. In one out of every four people with diabetes has some nerve damage.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
woman in art gallery
Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
senior man
boy hits soccer ball with head
red and white swirl
marijuana plant
brain illustration stroke
nerve damage
Alzheimers Overview
Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix