Peripheral neuropathy refers to a problem with the peripheral nerves. These nerves send messages from the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
The peripheral nerves tell the body when, for example, the hands are cold. It can lead to tingling, prickling, numbness, and muscle weakness in various parts of the body.
Peripheral neuropathy can affect a range of different nerves, so it can impact a variety of locations in different ways. It can affect a single nerve, or several nerves at the same time. Managing neuropathy
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, may help control pain.
Topical ointments and creams, such as capsaicin 0.075 percent cream, containing chili pepper, may ease pain. Patches are also available.
Symptoms vary according to the types of neuropathy.
The person may have:
tingling and numbness
pins and needles and hypersensitivity
increased pain or inability to feel pain
loss of ability to detect changes in heat and cold
loss of co-ordination and proprioception
burning, stabbing, lancing, boring, or shooting pains, which may be worse at night
Many types of neuropathy are "idiopathic," or of unknown cause, but a number of conditions can trigger it.
Diabetes is the most common cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy. It happens when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves.
Other medical conditions and injuries include:
Chronic kidney disease
Injuries: Broken bones and tight plaster casts can put pressure directly on the nerves.
Infections: Shingles, HIV infection, Lyme disease, and others can lead to nerve damage.
Guillain-Barré syndrome: This is a specific type of peripheral neuropathy, triggered by infection.
Some autoimmune disorders
Non-drug measures include:
wearing fabrics that do not irritate, such as cotton
covering sensitive areas with a plastic wound dressing or cling film
using warm or cold packs, unless the problem is worsened by heat or cold