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Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where the nerves in your hands, feet and arms are damaged

About

The peripheral nervous system is a network of nerves in your body. It controls your hands, feet and arms. Sometimes, these nerves can be damaged, leading to pain, weakness and numbness. This condition is known as peripheral nephropathy. It affects 1 in 10 people over the age of 55. If you're experiencing it, we can help.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy icon plus

    Peripheral neuropathy can be felt in the hands, feet and/or arms. Its common symptoms can include:

    • a burning sensation
    • stabbing or shooting pain
    • losing balance or a lack or coordination
    • muscles weakness, especially in your feet
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your HCA UK neurologist will discuss your symptoms with you. If they suspect you have peripheral neuropathy, they may recommend certain tests. These might include:

    • A nerve conduction test (NCS), which involves placing electrodes on your skin to assess the speed and strength of nerve signals.
    • An electromyography (EMG), where a small needle is gently inserted into your muscle to measure your muscle's electrical activity. They may also carry out blood tests and take a nerve biopsy (sample) for further analysis.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Your HCA UK neurologist will explain your treatment options to you. This might involve treating the underlying cause. If, for example, your peripheral neuropathy has been brought on by a vitamin deficiency, your neurologist may recommend injections or medicine. In other cases, they may seek to treat your symptoms, by prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers.
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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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