Modern Migraine MD

Nerve Damage

Neurologist and Headache Specialist headquartered in New York, NY seeing patients virtually throughout the US

Nerve Damage

Your nerves control sensations and movement. Nerve damage affects these functions, causing a wide range of symptoms. At Modern Migraine MD, with locations in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, Toms River, New Jersey, and Aventura, Florida, Risa Ravitz, MD, assesses nerve damage. She performs electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) at the New York City location to diagnose the extent of the nerve damage or reviews study results through telemedicine visits. Call or schedule an in-office or telemedicine consultation online today. 

Nerve Damage Q & A

What is nerve damage?

Nerve damage is an injury to a peripheral nerve. Peripheral nerves include the network of motor, sensory, and autonomic nerves that connect your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. 

These nerves control sensory information, motor movement, muscle control, and functions you don’t think about, like breathing and body temperature. Unfortunately, your peripheral nerves are fragile and susceptible to damage.

Any damage to these nerves affects their function, leading to a wide range of symptoms. Nerve damage is a common cause of neck and back pain.

What causes nerve damage?

You can develop nerve damage from an unexpected accident that stretches, compresses, or crushes a nerve. For example, a fall that leads to a herniated disc and compression of a spinal nerve, resulting in back or neck pain.

Various medical conditions also cause nerve damage, such as diabetes, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and lupus. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica occur from the compression of a specific nerve. 

What are the symptoms of nerve damage?

Nerve damage symptoms vary depending on the type of nerve and location. 

Symptoms from motor nerve damage

If you have damage to a motor nerve, you may experience muscle cramping or weakness. You may also have uncontrollable muscle twitching.

Symptoms from sensory nerve damage

Sensory nerve damage may cause numbness, tingling, or burning sensations. When you have sensory nerve damage in the neck or back, you may have symptoms that radiate into your arms or legs.

Symptoms from autonomic nerve damage

Symptoms from autonomic nerve damage may include difficulty digesting food, low blood pressure, or poor tolerance to heat. 

What types of tests do I need for nerve damage?

Modern Migraine MD uses electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) to diagnose nerve damage. More specifically, to diagnose the extent of common nerve root entrapments in the neck and low back. 


During an EMG, your neurologist inserts a thin electrode needle into various muscles throughout the body to measure electrical activity when the muscle is at risk and during activity. If there’s a reduction in muscle activity, then you might have nerve damage.


For an NCS, your neurologist places electrodes on your skin at two different places. Then, they send a mild electrical current to measure how quickly the message travels along the path of the nerve. 

Modern Migraine MD performs EMG and NCS testing at the office in New York City. 

To find out if nerve damage is causing your back or neck pain, call Modern Migraine MD or schedule a consultation online today.