Neuropathies: Types of Neuropathy in Hands, Legs & Feet


Nerve pain can leave people unable to perform day-to-day activities and can seriously hinder peoples quality of life. Unfortunately, this type of pain can take time to diagnose and pinpoint, which is why it is important to see your doctor at the first sign of symptoms. The sooner you can catch nerve damage the better your chances are at preventing or minimizing neuropathic pain.

Neuropathy is a broad diagnosis covering different, more specific causes and Neuropathy diagnoses. You may have read our blog What Is Neuropathy and discovered that you do in fact have symptoms on Neuropathy. Here, we’ll go more in detail about the types of Neuropathy that you may have.


Types of Neuropathy:

Peripheral Neuropathy (Non-Diabetic Neuropathy) Peripheral Neuropathy creates the pain symptoms of numbness, burning, tingling, etc in your extremities, most commonly hands and feet. However, it can include arms, feet, fingers, hands, legs, and toes. Peripheral Neuropathy means the nerve damage occurred to the peripheral nervous system, which affects the nerves on the outside of the spine and brain.

Mononeuropathy Nerve damage, pain, and malfunctions on a singular nerve or nerve trunk. Some examples of Mononeuropathy are Carpel Tunnel, Sciatic Nerve Dysfunction, Femoral Nerve Dysfunction and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Unlike most neuropathies, this one is most often caused by injury.

Diabetic Neuropathy Diabetic Neuropathy is non-reversible damage to the nervous system because of Diabetes. The damage creates malfunctions in the nerves which translates to burning, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the extremities (primarily hands and feet). Some estimate Diabetes Patients suffer from Neuropathy 50-70% of the time. The better a patient can manage their Diabetes the more they will be able to manage their Neuropathy. Treatment for Diabetic Neuropathy can be medication, cream, physical therapy, exercises or any combination of them.

Non-diabetic Neuropathy Synonym for Peripheral Neuropathy.

Idiopathic Neuropathy Neuropathy and Neuropathy symptoms without a clear understanding as to what caused the Neuropathy.

Viral Neuropathy Viral Neuropathy is caused by infections, virus’ and some medication. Chemotherapy is one of the most common causes of Viral Peripheral Neuropathy. Viral or bacterial infections can also cause nerve damage that induces Neuropathy. Some of these diseases are: – Lyme Disease -Shingles -Epstein-Barr Virus -Hepatitis C -Leprosy -Diphtheria -HIV

Small Fiber Neuropathy Small Fiber Neuropathy is primarily a disorder that affects small somatic fibers or autonomic fibers, but sometimes it can affect both. Neuropathy is caused by damage to small unmyelinated peripheral nerve fibers. Your peripheral nerves, skin, and organs all contain these fibers, which are sometimes called and categorized as “C Fibers”. The most common cause of Small Fiber Neuropathy is Diabetes and glucose intolerance. Other Causes of Small Fiber Neuropathy:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lupus
  • Vasculitis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Celiac Disease
  • Lyme Disease
  • HIV
  • Fabry Disease
  • Amyloidosis
  • Alcoholism

Alcoholic Neuropathy Alcohol-Induced Neuropathy is caused by peripheral nerve damage from the overuse of alcohol. Patients who have used alcohol for long periods of time or significant overuse may start to feel burning and tingling in their limbs. Thankfully, if the patient abstains from alcohol use, their symptoms may be reduced and prevent future nerve damage. While alcohol is the primary cause of the nerve damage, vitamin deficiencies can also play a part in the onset and symptoms.

Autonomic Neuropathy Damage to your organs and organ systems is referred to as AN or Autonomic Neuropathy. Because of the damage, signals between your autonomic nerves and your brain are disrupted. Blood pressure, heart rate, perspiration, bowel movements, bladder emptying and digestion problems can all stem from autonomic nerve damage.

Ulnar Neuropathy Ulnar Neuropathy is a less common form of neuropathy that causes pain on the outside of the arm and hand by the little finger (pinky finger). Most commonly, elbow pain, hand tenderness and pain and tingling in your palm and fingers are the symptoms of this disease.


Neuropathy treatment

If you haven’t seen a doctor yet and you believe you have Neuropathy, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you need help finding a doctor, feel free to live chat with us, call or text! Even if you’re not ready for physical  therapy, we’re happy to help.

Physical therapy is one of the best ways to manage and reduce your Neuropathy pain and symptoms while avoiding addicting and expensive medications. With a combination of 1:1 physical therapy care and a home therapy plan, you’ll start getting your life back in no time!

Read more about our Neuropathy Treatment here!

Pain free Starts Here

Easy To Schedule. No Prescription Required. Same Day Appointments.

Or call — 877-PT-NERVE