Inflammation of one or several nerves. The cause may be mechanical, vascular, allergic, toxic, metabolic, or viral. Symptoms—tingling, burning, or stabbing pains with sensory nerves and anything from muscle weakness to paralysis with motor nerves—are usually confined to the part of the body served by the inflamed nerve. In Bell palsy, facial nerve inflammation causes a characteristic facial muscle distortion. Analgesics can relieve the pain. Once the underlying cause is treated, recovery is usually rapid but may be incomplete in severe cases, with residual motor and sensory disturbances. See also neuralgia.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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