Neuropathy is a condition in which the peripheral nerves (the nerves in your body, aside from your spinal cord and brain) are damaged or not working correctly. There are many different types of neuropathies and just as many different ways to categorize them. Peripheral neuropathy can result from problems such as traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes. Of diabetic neuropathy patients, 26% have pain.
Approximately 21 million Americans are affected by peripheral neuropathy pain. Of neuropathies, 30% are without a known cause (idiopathic). Some very rare forms of neuropathies can be fatal.
A so-called "Stocking or Glove Neuropathy" (this polyneuropathy pattern is technically called distal symmetric) occurs when nerve damage initially starts in both feet and may progress to the calves, and eventually the fingers and hands. Many patients with Stocking or Glove Neuropathy pain may not even have any symptoms. In this case the diagnosis is made by a physical examination or a diagnostic test.