Child Neurology Consultants of Austin

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of damage to the nervous system. It occurs when there is a problem with a child's peripheral nervous system, the network of nerves that transmits information from the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to the rest of the body. It often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet but can also affect other areas of the body.

Overview of Peripheral Neuropathy


 Peripheral neuropathy has many different causes. Some may inherit the condition from their parents, others develop it because of an injury or medical problem such as kidney disease, vitamin deficiency, or diabetes.

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary. Motor neuropathy symptoms may include muscle weakness, cramps, muscle twitching, and loss of muscle.

Sensory neuropathy symptoms may include numbness, loss of sensation or feeling in body parts, loss of balance or other functions as a side effect of the loss of feeling in the legs, arms, or other body parts.

Autonomic neuropathy symptoms may include inability to sweat properly or abnormal sweating pattern, loss of bladder control, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation or incontinence related to nerve damage in the intestines or digestive tract, difficulty eating or swallowing, and life-threatening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or irregular heartbeat.


If your doctor suspects nerve damage, he or she will take an extensive patient history and conduct a number of neurological tests to determine the location and extent of nerve damage. Sometimes a Nerve Conduction Study/Electromyography can be performed in the office to aid in the diagnosis.


Peripheral neuropathy often cannot be cured, but there are ways to reduce the symptoms. If an underlying condition like diabetes is the cause, your doctor will treat that first and then treat the pain and other symptoms of neuropathy. Other symptom relievers may include over-the-counter or prescription medicines and supportive care with physical therapy and orthotic braces to prevent worsening.


For a complete evaluation of your child’s peripheral neuropathy health, call (512) 494-4000 for an appointment or book an appointment online.