Peripheral neuropathy describes a variety of physical conditions that result from damage to one or more of the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves are thread-like pathways that connect the brain and spinal cord to the internal organs, muscles, and skin.
When one or more of the nerves are damaged or inflamed, communication between the brain and the body is impaired. This can cause pain and problems with muscle movement and sensation in the arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Mononeuropathy is damage to a single nerve, and can be caused by injury, repetitive motion activities, or prolonged pressure on a nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar neuropathy (also known as cubital tunnel syndrome), and tarsal tunnel syndrome are some of the more common types of mononeuropathy.
Polyneuropathy occurs when many of the peripheral nerves malfunction at the same time. Causes can include complications from diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and poor nutrition.