Things to Know About Peripheral Neuropathy


July 22, 2022

According to recent findings, the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy ranges from 6% to 51% among those with diabetes. Also, about 50% of adults with diabetes will suffer from peripheral neuropathy at one point in their lifetime. The signs and symptoms of this condition vary from asymptomatic to painful neuropathy. 

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy, also called nerve damage or neuropathy, is a condition that occurs due to damage to nerves in different parts of the body. Typically, the condition affects sensory nerves in the hands, arms, feet, or legs. Diabetes is the primary cause of this condition. Other probable causes include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Physical injury
  • Malnutrition
  • Kidney failure
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • A family history of the condition

Signs and Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy

According to John Hopkins Medicine, we have over 100 types of peripheral neuropathy, and each type has its symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of this condition are:

  • Prickling, or burning sensation
  • Pain
  • Enhanced sensitivity to touch
  • Temporary or permanent numbness
  • Paralysis
  • Diminished sexual function
  • Muscle wasting or weakness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of feeling or sensations in body parts
  • Changes in hair, skin, or nails
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Trouble swallowing or eating
  • Severe symptoms like irregular heartbeat or difficulty breathing


The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary and can make diagnosis difficult. When your doctor suspects nerve damage, they’ll do a thorough medical history alongside neurological tests to establish the cause and extent of nerve damage. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Muscle strength tests
  • Spinal fluid tests
  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction studies

How To Treat Peripheral Neuropathy

The treatment option for peripheral neuropathy depends on the cause. Usually, the condition has no cure, but doctors can recommend measures and treatment to ensure it doesn’t get worse. For instance, if the cause is diabetes, your doctor will manage the sugar levels to prevent further nerve damage. They may also prescribe pain medication or recommend surgery to treat neuropathic pain or repair injuries in severe cases. Other possible treatments include:

  • Steroids
  • Antidepressants
  • Numbing patches or creams
  • Narcotics or opioids
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Occupational therapy
  • Electrical nerve stimulation

Seek Professional Help Today!

Are you experiencing the signs highlighted above or suspect you have peripheral neuropathy? At Southeast Pain & Spine Care, we’ll do an accurate diagnosis and create a personalized treatment plan to treat the cause and help improve your quality of life. 

Living with peripheral neuropathy is tough, but our physicians and other healthcare professionals are ready to offer individual care and treatment. For many years, we’ve been helping patients overcome chronic pain. Please fill out the form below to contact our team.

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