What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?

What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?


Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include burning pain, tingling, numbness, weakened muscles, blood pressure fluctuations and sensitivity to touch, according to the Mayo Clinic. Depending on which area of the nervous system is affected, peripheral neuropathy can interfere with physical coordination and trigger digestive, bladder or bowel problems.

An acute neuropathy is temporary, and symptoms progress quickly before gradually slowing down when the nerve tissue begins to heal, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states. Symptoms of a chronic neuropathy are recurrent and may increase in severity over time.

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when peripheral nerves are damaged by trauma, genetic predisposition or disease, according to the NINDS. Peripheral nerves influence how the body perceives sensory information, such as touch, and their individual functions vary based on the body region. Physical damage prevents the nerves from correctly transmitting important sensory information to the brain and the spinal cord, known as the central nervous system. For example, peripheral neuropathy in the hands could weaken motor skills or limit an individual's ability to feel objects.

As of 2014, doctors have identified more than 100 different forms of peripheral neuropathy and typically classify them as autonomic, sensory or motor, the NINDS notes. Autonomic neuropathies affect independent bodily functions that are inherently regulated, such as digestion and breathing. Sensory neuropathies cause changes in sensory perception, such as pain sensitivity, while motor neuropathies interfere with muscle movements, such as jogging.