Types of Neuropathy: An Overview

Understanding the Types of Diabetic Neuropathy: CHOICE Pain &  Rehabilitation Center: Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation, and Pain  Management

Neuropathy is a condition that affects the peripheral nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness. It is important to understand the different types of neuropathy in order to seek appropriate treatment and management. In this article, we will explore the various types of neuropathy and their symptoms.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy refers to a group of disorders that affect the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. These nerves are responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When these nerves are damaged or destroyed, it can lead to a range of symptoms.

Types of Neuropathy

  • Peripheral Neuropathy: This is the most common type of neuropathy and affects the peripheral nerves, which are located outside of the brain and spinal cord. It can cause numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and feet. Other symptoms may include muscle weakness, difficulty walking, and problems with coordination.
  • Autonomic Neuropathy: This type of neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves, which control involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and bladder control. Symptoms may include dizziness, irregular heart rate, digestive issues, and difficulty regulating body temperature.
  • Proximal Neuropathy: Proximal neuropathy, also known as diabetic amyotrophy, affects the nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, and legs. It is commonly seen in individuals with diabetes and can cause severe pain, weakness, and difficulty walking.
  • Focal Neuropathy: Focal neuropathy refers to damage or dysfunction of a specific nerve or group of nerves. It can occur suddenly and cause symptoms such as severe pain, weakness, and muscle atrophy in the affected area. Common types of focal neuropathy include carpal tunnel syndrome and Bell’s palsy.
  • Hereditary Neuropathy: Hereditary neuropathy is a group of inherited disorders that affect the peripheral nerves. It can cause a range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, sensory loss, and difficulty walking. Examples of hereditary neuropathy include Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and Friedreich’s ataxia.


Neuropathy is a complex condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It is important to recognize the different types of neuropathy and seek appropriate medical care. If you are experiencing symptoms of neuropathy, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment options.


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