Peripheral Nerve Disease

The St. Luke’s Center for Neuroscience is dedicated to expert care of conditions of the nervous system.

Peripheral nerve diseases are caused by damage to nerves throughout the body’s nervous system. Damage to motor nerves can cause:

  • Loss of muscle control
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced movement

Meanwhile, damage to sensory nerves can affect sensations, such as the ability to feel pain or heat/cold.

People with peripheral nerve diseases often may feel tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, or weakness on one or both sides of the body. Other symptoms of peripheral nerve diseases include:

  • Weak muscles on one or both sides of the body
  • Shooting pain that becomes worse with touching or changes in temperature
  • Sores on fingers or toes

Peripheral Nerve Disease Risk Factors

Peripheral nerve diseases strike men or women. People older than 60 particularly are at risk. Other risk factors are:

  • Family history
  • Alcoholism or drug use
  • Exposure to particular chemicals
  • Infections
  • Nerve disorders
  • Poor diet
  • Uncontrolled diabetes


After diagnosis, peripheral nerve diseases can be treated with:

  • Medications
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Exercise
  • Changes in diet
  • Surgery


There are no known ways to prevent peripheral nerve diseases.