Peripheral neuropathy, a result of damage to your peripheral nerves, often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body. Peripheral neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes and exposure to toxins. One of the most common causes is diabetes mellitus.
There are an estimated 20 million cases of peripheral neuropathy in the US which relates to an overall rate of about 6% (The Neuropathy Association 2012).
Surgical treatment may be recommended for people with nerve damage from injury or nerve compression. Mobility aids, such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair, may be helpful. People with diabetes should learn to control their blood sugar. For pain, doctor may prescribe pain medication.
Researchers at Duke University say an experimental stem cell therapy being tested on animals shows great potential to provide long-lasting pain relief for people suffering from diabetic neuropathy or other types of nerve damage.