Peripheral neuropathy, or more commonly neuropathy (the terms are generally used interchangeably), is a condition in which the nerves of the body are not functioning properly. It usually affects the feet and legs.
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can range from mildly annoying to agonizingly painful. Symptoms tend to follow the same general pattern:
Initially, feelings of numbness, burning, tingling and/or
shooting pains start in the toes. Over time, these feelings become
more intense and travel up the feet and into the legs and hands.
The progression of neuropathy appears to be related to how far the affected body part is from the spine. So initially, the toes are affected because they are the body part furthest from the spine. As time passes and the condition progresses, the parts of the body that are closer to the spine–the middle of the feet, the back of the feet, the ankle area and the legs–are affected, one after the other, in order of their distance from the spine.