Neuropathy is a painful condition that affects the feet and often the hands as well. It is caused by a progressive desensitization of the small nerve fibers of the hands and feet. It has several known causes, and diabetes and chronic alcoholism are the most common causative factors. However, often people develop this issue and no cause is ever discovered.
Characteristically, neuropathy is a numbness of the feet and hands, often coupled with a painful sensation that disrupts normal gait and normal function. Many patients report a numbness with pain, and often they state that their feet feel tight, or that they are cold. They often have abnormal sensation.
Diagnosis can be made in the office most of the time with a simple, painless test. Further confirmation, if necessary, can be made with nerve conduction testing or nerve biopsy.
Medications are available to help control neuropathy pain.