Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord are damaged or functioning abnormally. It typically affects the nerves in the feet or hands but can progress further up the extremities or affect other organs. The peripheral nerves send sensory information to our brain and changes in these nerves can result in abnormal sensations and pain. In severe cases strength and motor function can be affected as well.  Causes of peripheral neuropathy can include trauma, infections, normal changes in the nerves over time, vitamin deficiencies, heavy smoking or alcohol use, cancer and chemotherapy, and other certain diseases. Diabetes is one of the most common conditions that leads to peripheral neuropathy.



  • Usually gradual in onset
  • Commonly begins in the feet but can progress upward
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Stabbing and burning
  • Hypersensitivity to touch
  • Impaired balance
  • Impaired fine motor control
  • Weakness or muscle atrophy



  • Management of health conditions that can be a cause
  • Avoiding heavy alcohol use and quitting smoking
  • Dietary modifications
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Medications
  • Routine exercise
  • Physical therapy for strengthening and improving balance
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser therapy

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