Peripheral neuropathy is the name given to pain conditions that occur when nerves that carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body become damaged or diseased. Peripheral nerves branch off from the spinal cord and are responsible for linking the spine and brain with the rest of the body.
The word peripheral means “beyond” and in this instance literally means “beyond the brain and spinal cord.” When these nerves become damaged or diseased, it can limit muscle mobility, reduce feeling in the limbs, and cause pain.
What causes peripheral neuropathy?
There are numerous potential causes of peripheral neuropathy, which can make it difficult to identify the specific cause in any one situation.
Some, known as acquired neuropathies, are the result of illness, injury, or infection and can include, diabetes (painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN)), malnutrition, cancer, alcohol abuse, kidney issues, Lyme disease, AIDS, nerve trauma, vitamin deficiencies, or exposure to poisons/toxins.
Hereditary neuropathies are less common and are passed on genetically.
Sometimes, the cause of peripheral neuropathy is unknown. In these instances, it is referred to as an Idiopathic neuropathy.
What are symptoms of peripheral neuropathy?
Some of the primary symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Numbness or tingling in the feet, hands, legs, and/or arms
- Sharp, stabbing, throbbing, or burning pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch or pressure, such as pain when laying a blanket on your feet
- Lack of coordination, tripping, or falling
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling as if you’re wearing gloves or socks when you’re not
- Paralysis if motor nerves are affected
RELIEVE YOUR PAIN, RENEW YOUR LIFE!