©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Symptoms and Signs of Neuropathic Pain (Nerve Pain)

Doctor's Notes on Neuropathic Pain (Nerve Pain)

Neuropathy is a nerve dysfunction that can lead to loss of sensation and in some patients, pain. Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain condition that results from nerve dysfunction. There are numerous conditions that can cause neuropathic pain, such as diabetes, HIV, kidney failure, injury to a peripheral nerve, disc herniation, alcoholism, tobacco use, some prescription drugs, vitamin deficiency (vitamin E, B1, B6, B12, niacin), repetitive stress injury (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), cancer, genetic causes, and shingles.

Neuropathic pain symptoms are chronic, and pain is often felt in the feet, though legs and upper extremities may also be involved. The quality of pain may be unique for every person and may be described as burning, stabbing, prickling, tingling, or aching. Because the entire hands and feet are commonly affected, the symptoms are often described as being in a "stocking-glove distribution."

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.