Neuropathy and swelling result from a condition called peripheral neuropathy, which is caused by diabetes or more acute neuropathies like Guillan-Barre Syndrome, explains the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The nerves descending to the feet can be attacked by the body in an auto-immune process.
In diabetes, which is one of the most common causes, nerve damage occurs from the feet up due to the distance that the nerve fiber travels, according to NINDS. Sensory nerve damage from peripheral neuropathy makes it difficult to balance, increasing fall risk. Motor nerve damage results in muscle weakness. Repetitive stress causes entrapment neuropathy, which can cause swelling and pain.