Peripheral refers to your arms and legs and neuropathy refers to a degeneration in your nerves. Your nerves carry information to and from your spinal cord about movement, sensation and automatic functions such as maintaining blood pressure. One of the main reasons for this type of nerve degeneration is diabetes, with other less common reasons being nerve injuries, shingles or certain medications.
Changes in your nerves can affect your balance, feeling in your hands and feet and can cause weakness in your muscles. Physiotherapy intervention can help to address this by prescribing specific exercises to help with balance and strength as well as exploring walking aids and foot supports (splints) to help improve your walking.
Regular exercise has been shown to help improve circulation, reduce the effects of diabetes and maintain muscle strength over time and seeing a physiotherapist with experience in this condition is essential. Physiotherapy is unable to change your condition, however we can help to manage it and improve your day to day function, taking into account your targets and working towards them step by step.
For more information on peripheral neuropathy go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/peripheral-neuropathy/