Sensory neuropathy causes symptoms that affect the senses such as sensations that make the skin or body feel numb, tingly, prickly, or as if pins and needles have been inserted into the skin, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Additional symptoms include extreme coldness; burning pain; or brief, painful sensations that feel similar to an electric shock.
Patients are diagnosed with sensory neuropathy by a physician who has evaluated medical history, performed a clinical examination, and analyzed results of laboratory testing, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Some physicians conduct nerve conduction studies and electromyography to eliminate the chance that large and motor sensory nerve fibers are causing the pain. In rare cases, a physician may order skin, muscle or nerve biopsies to evaluate the patients' condition.
Treatment is based on the underlying cause of the condition which could be related to diabetes or a prediabetic state, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Weight loss and exercise are often recommended to reduce insulin resistance. People in extreme pain from sensory neuropathy are typically prescribed analgesics, anti-seizure medications and antidepressants to manage pain and reduce the occurrence of painful sensations within the body. Consult with a physician regarding options for pain management through a chronic pain clinic.