Understanding Neuropathy Symptoms

Neuropathy May Limit Daily Functioning

Neuropathic pain often makes movement painful, leading an individual to limit mobility. Being sedentary can cause muscles to weaken, further restricting physical functioning. Many people with neuropathy are unable to work.

Back pain or other pain caused by neuropathy is typically described in the following terms:

  • Severe, sharp, electric shock-like, shooting, lightning-like, or stabbing
  • Deep, burning, or cold
  • Persistent numbness, tingling, or weakness
  • Pain that travels along the nerve path into the arms, hands, legs, or feet

See Leg Pain and Numbness: What Might These Symptoms Mean?

Skin in the painful area may be discolored, appearing more pink or red than usual. In some cases, the skin may have a blue or mottled appearance. Changes in color are usually related to changes in blood flow. Some individuals also experience swelling.

Many people with neuropathic pain also experience sleep difficulties and depression, both of which can increase the perception of pain.2 A multifaceted pain management approach may be beneficial to address all aspects of the person’s health.

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