How does one know if nerve damage is healing? How long does it take for healing to begin? These are all valid questions, but without an answer, they don’t have much use.
On-premise, there are three types of nerves: sensory, autonomic, and motor. All of these serve different purposes and respond to injury in a variety of ways. Thus, it can be quite hard to inference directly how long it would take to recover for each.
Nonetheless, in this article, we will do our best to analyze how long do damaged nerves take to heal.
So if that’s something you want to learn more about, keep reading.
What Causes Nerve Damage?
As mentioned earlier, there are three types of nerves, such as the autonomic, sensory, and motor nerves.
Autonomic nerves are employed in the function of involuntary actions in the body. Sensory nerves are employed in the communication between motor and autonomic nerves. Motor nerves are employed in the function of voluntary actions.
If any nerve is damaged to any degree, it can result in a dysfunction of extremities, organs, and other parts of the body.
Some of the main causes of nerve damage are, but not limited to:
- Nerve compressions, such as carpal tunnel, crushing injuries, pinched nerves
- Diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) can damage all of the nerves, but the sensory nerves are most affected
- Cancer can have a negative impact on the nerves. The growth of cells will crush on nerves, and further treatment will affect nerves as well
- Autoimmune disorders can damage the nerves, such as multiple sclerosis
- Any neuron disease can directly affect the function of nerves
- Any infections, such as hepatitis, HIV, etc can lead to lasting damage
- Toxic medications and drugs can lead to these issues as well
Recovery From Nerve Damage
Many people want to know how they will know if a nerve is healing. Well, the process is not unpleasant to be quite honest.
It will start with a tingling sensation at the injury site. As the fibers begin to grow and joint together, one might feel electrical impulses.
But as time goes by, these feelings will subside in due time. Another thing that it’s important to understand is that not all nerves can recover fully. You might have an odd sensation in the injury site if a nerve has been cut.
In any case, the speediness of the recovery will depend on:
As your body ages, the ability to heal slows down. If you get an injury at an old age, your nerves might not recover fully.
Any damaged nerves that occur from a cut heal better than those from a crush. This is because there is a certain path of recovery for the nerves to follow.
The quicker your nerves repair themselves, the faster they are regenerated. This depends on your genetic makeup, and other environmental factors, such as diet, location, etc.
Nerve Type Recovery
The type of nerve will determine the speediness of recovery as well. For instance, motor nerves always heal slower than sensory nerves.
If there is tension around the injury site and/or the nerve is trapped from scar tissue, the recovery is slower. This often occurs with crushing injuries.
How Long Do Damaged Nerves Take to Heal?
When it comes to how long do damaged nerves take to heal, the rate of recovery will vary based on injury type. If the nerve is bruised, the recovery is about 6 to 12 weeks. If it is cut, the rate is even slower.
When the nerve has rested for 4 weeks, the process will begin and the nerve will regenerate at a millimeter per day. As sensory nerves heal quicker, full recovery is expected within a year.
Motor nerves are trickier. The structure is odd with the existence of a motor endplate. The nerves join with muscle tissue, so the damage must be severe. When the endplate does not receive impulses for a day, the nerves die.
Because the connection is no longer there, the muscles are inactive, which causes atrophy. This why motor nerves must be repaired in under 12 hours.
Until the feeling returns to sensory nerves, it’s important to resist from using sharp or hot objects. You might not even feel the pain and get injured. The same goes for all types of nerve injuries.
Because you don’t have full control over the muscle tissue, it’s possible to develop inappropriate posture. To ensure this, you must seek therapy to maintain the action and feeling of the movements while the nerves recover.
Third Degree Damage
Any third-degree damage can only recover partially. Even this recovery will depend on a variety of other factors, such as surgery success and scarring severity.
If the nerves are not connected, there is less chance of recovery. The nerves will regenerate at about 1 inch each month.
Fourth Degree Damage
Any fourth-degree damage occurs when the scar tissue is deeply injured, and the connection of other nerves is misplaced. The regeneration will begin a couple of weeks after the injury had rested.
The nerve can regenerate at about 1 inch each month.
Fifth Degree Damage
Any fifth-degree damage occurs when the nerves are separated. To recover from this, the nerve must be joined with surgery immediately.
The nerve will regenerate at the same rate of 1 inch each month.
Sixth Degree Damage
Any sixth-degree damage involves several nerves together. Because the damage is so wide-spread, the regeneration and recovery will vary based on how the surgery was performed, as well as how deep the damage was.
In any case, for all of the types, you’re looking at months, and in some cases, possibly years in repair.
Now that you know how long do damaged nerves take to heal, you are well on your way to ensure that you are on track to a speedy recovery. As long as you keep your body healthy, your mind occupied and the injury site injury-free, there is no reason that your nerves will recovery at their earliest convenience.
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