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Nerves in the Hand

There are three types of nerves in the hand, peripheral, afferent or sensory, and mixed nerves. A peripheral nerve is a specialized cord like structure that conducts electro chemical impulses from the spinal cord and brain to the body. There are three types of peripheral nerves that travel in the body. Afferent or sensory nerves conduct messages from the sensory receptors in the body to the spinal cord and brain, These nerves provide sensation, temperature, pain, pressure, and body position (proprioceptive) information to the brain. Efferent nerves conduct information from the brain and spinal cord to their target muscles and glands. They are responsible for delivering motor or movement instructions to the bodies musculoskeletal system. The third type of nerve is a mixed nerve that has both afferent and efferent properties.

Nerves are delicate structures, and can be injured by pressure, strain, stretching, or trauma (like being cut.) A nerve injury to the hand can cause weakness, loss of muscle function, pain, numbness, and decreased or abnormal sensation in the areas of the compromised nerve.

Common nerve conditions of the hand include