Neuropathy is damage to your nerves.
Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage that affects the long nerves in your body. Long nerves go from your spinal cord to your arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes.
These long nerves allow you to feel pain, touch, temperature, position, and vibration (sensory nerves). They are also used for movement, muscle tone, and coordination (motor nerves).
Peripheral neuropathy affects your fingers and toes, but can spread upwards to affect the hands, feet, arms, and legs.
- Feelings of tingling; “pins and needles,” cold, pinching, burning, or electric shocks (paresthesia).
- Unpleasant sensations when touching or being touched (dysesthesia).
- Numbness or decreased feeling (anesthesia).
- A sense that you cannot feel the floor under your feet or the shape of an object in your hand.
- Trouble feeling the difference between hot or cold temperatures.
- Trouble keeping your shoes on if they do not fit properly.
You may only feel numbness and tingling below your wrist and below your ankle. This is called a “stocking and glove pattern”.
- With balance, tripping, or falling.
- Buttoning your shirt or tying your shoes.
- Picking-up and holding objects.
- Doing tasks that need muscle strength and coordination.
- Constipation (difficulty going “poop”)
If you have severe numbness, you may not feel a new cut on your hands or feet. You could get an infection from the cut.