The peripheral nervous system serves the areas in the extremities of the body. The nerves within that system provide a number of functions, depending upon which one is being affected. Typically, nerves can be classified as sensory (receiving sensation), motor (controlling muscle movement) and autonomic (regulating functions such as heart rate and blood pressure). One of the issues that may occur with those nerves is peripheral neuropathy. A number of symptoms of the condition may be experienced.
Peripheral neuropathy is an issue in which the peripheral nerves are damaged. This often leads to symptoms that are associated with either the hands or the feet, but it may also affect more than one area or other parts of the body as well. Medication is often prescribed to reduce the pain associated with peripheral neuropathy, but it does not cure the problem.
An issue with peripheral neuropathy may occur any number of different reasons. The nerves are often damaged as a result of metabolic problems, traumatic injuries, exposure to toxins and it can be an inherited problem. One of the more common issues that can result in this condition is diabetes, and many individuals suffer from this issue in their feet when they have severe diabetes.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include the following:
- Pain that is often described as sharp, throbbing, burning or freezing.
- Sensitivity to touch, considered extreme
- Tingling, pricking or numbness in the hands or feet. This problem tends to come on gradually and may move upward into the arms or legs.
- A general feeling of un-coordination and falling.
- Muscle weakness and, in extreme cases when motor nerves are affected, paralysis.