Peripheral Neuropathy

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve condition that is a result of nerve damage and it typically causes pain in the hands, feet, and other areas of the body. If you experience this condition, it can make daily life difficult, and you may be seeking options to improve your symptoms.

Defining Peripheral Neuropathy

Your peripheral nervous system is the part of your nervous system that exists outside your brain. Peripheral neuropathy is a term that includes all conditions in which these nerves are damaged. They may become damaged from a variety of causes including injuries, trauma, infections, and certain medical conditions. Peripheral neuropathy is most often characterized by pain in the hands and feet. However, it can also impact some bodily functions such as circulation or digestion. Many individuals report their symptoms improving with time and treatment.

Symptoms and When to Be Concerned

Since your nerves perform a variety of tasks in the body, symptoms of peripheral neuropathy will vary. Your nerves assist with physical touch and senses, moving muscles, and completing bodily functions. One of the most common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy is pain in the hands and feet that is described as stabbing pain or even numbness. In fact, you may feel numbing spreading beyond just your hands and feet. You may be sensitive to certain touches. Some pain may occur when doing any activity and you could also experience difficulty moving. This pain may come and go, so it’s good to know when you should talk with a doctor. If you are experiencing any unusual pain, tingling, or numbness in your hands and feet you should see a doctor.

Causes and Risk Factors

Peripheral neuropathy is brought on by a variety of causes. Diabetes is perhaps the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy. If you have diabetes, you can develop peripheral neuropathy due to the damage that uncontrolled sugar levels cause to your nerves. Many individuals can develop peripheral neuropathy if they have nutritional issues or any vitamin deficiencies. For example, a lack of vitamin B is often noted as a cause. Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include injuries, trauma, repetitive activities that put a strain on your nerves, poor habits, genetics, and diseases including several autoimmune diseases. While there are several known causes, about 30% of peripheral neuropathy cases have no identifiable cause.

You are at a higher risk of developing peripheral neuropathy if you have a disease such as diabetes or some autoimmune diseases. You also put yourself at risk if you have a poor diet or drink alcohol excessively. Daily activities, exposure to toxins, and your family history can also put you at risk.


When it comes to treatment, you want to address your symptoms as well as any underlying conditions that have caused peripheral neuropathy. Two common approaches are medication and therapy. Medications are typically aimed at relieving the pain you are experiencing and helping your nerves to function properly. A variety of medications used for other conditions, such as antidepressants, have been found to help with pain relief. In addition to medications, you can try some therapy options. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a common treatment option in which electrodes are used to send small electric currents through the nerves. Your doctor might also recommend physical therapy. This is especially helpful for those who experience muscle weakness or reduced mobility due to their peripheral neuropathy.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, it’s important to find a treatment option that might provide you with relief. The Nerve & Disc Institute is dedicated to providing treatment options for those who have not found success elsewhere. The treatments are non-invasive and take advantage of your body’s natural ability to heal.

Is your peripheral neuropathy getting in the way of enjoying daily life? Click here to learn more and see if you qualify for treatment.