Peripheral Neuralgia is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may
be caused either by diseases of or trauma to the nerve or the side-effects of systemic illness.
The four cardinal patterns of peripheral neuropathy are polyneuropathy, mononeuropathy, mononeuritis
multiplex and autonomic neuropathy. The most common form is (symmetrical) peripheral polyneuropathy,
which mainly affects the feet and legs. The form of neuropathy may be further broken down by cause,
or the size of predominant fiber involvement, i.e., large fiber or small fiber peripheral neuropathy.
Frequently the cause of a neuropathy cannot be identified and it is designated idiopathic.
Those with diseases or dysfunctions of their peripheral nerves can present with problems in any of the
normal peripheral nerve functions.
In terms of sensory function, there are commonly loss of function (negative) symptoms, which include
numbness, tremor, and gait abnormality.
Gain of function (positive) symptoms include tingling, pain, itching, crawling, and pins and needles.
Pain can become intense enough to require use of opioid (narcotic) drugs (i.e., morphine, oxycodone).
Skin can become so hypersensitive that patients are prohibited from having anything touch certain
parts of their body, especially the feet. People with this degree of sensitivity cannot have a
bedsheet touch their feet or wear socks or shoes, and eventually become housebound.
Motor symptoms include loss of function (negative) symptoms of weakness, tiredness, heaviness, and
gait abnormalities; and gain of function (positive) symptoms of cramps, tremor, and muscle twitch
There is also pain in the muscles (myalgia), cramps, etc., and there may also be autonomic dysfunction.