Peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is damage to the peripheral nerves in your body, the nerves that carry messages to and from the brain. Peripheral nerves contain both large fibers covered with a type of insulation and very thin, small, uninsulated fibers. The large fibers job is to carry messages from the brain telling muscles to move. Small fibers transmit sensory information from external stimuli such as pain, heat, and cold.
People with peripheral neuropathy usually have damage to the small fibers with symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or burning pain in their hands or feet. Over time, the nerves lose their blood supply due to constriction which causes them to degenerate. They start sending abnormal signals to the brain. Without treatment, numbness and weakness begin to occur as the condition progresses.