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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What is neurapraxia?

Neurapraxia is a nerve injury that causes temporary numbness, tingling, or burning pain in 1 or more of your limbs.

What causes neurapraxia?

A blow to the head that pushes your neck sideways and down can cause neurapraxia. This injury can stretch or pinch nerves in either side of your neck. Neurapraxia most often occurs during contact sports. Sometimes a newborn is injured during birth.

What other signs and symptoms may I have with neurapraxia?

You may have any of the following from a few seconds to 48 hours:

  • Weakness in 1 or more of your limbs
  • Paralysis in 1 or more of your limbs
  • Neck pain, or difficulty moving your neck

How is neurapraxia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. You may need an x-ray or MRI scan if you have symptoms in more than 1 limb. An x-ray or MRI may show spinal cord damage or narrowing of the spinal canal in your neck. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see your spinal cord better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

How is neurapraxia treated?

Do not play contact sports until your symptoms go away completely or until directed by your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may recommend a neck roll or shoulder pads to wear during sports activities. You may need physical therapy to regain strength and range of motion.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have symptoms more than once.
  • Your symptoms do not go away after 2 days.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have severe pain in your neck or spine.
  • You feel less alert than usual.
  • You are confused and cannot think clearly.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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