Nerve Pain

What is diabetic nerve pain?

Diabetic nerve pain – also known as painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) – is a common complication of uncontrolled diabetes. Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be caused by high blood glucose in poorly-controlled diabetes. This can cause nerve damage, especially in the hands and feet, which can lead to chronic pain.1,2

How common is diabetic nerve pain?

More than 25% of the population in Saudi Arabia suffers from diabetes. Chronic peripheral nerve pain occurs in one of every six people with diabetes.1,3

What are the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain?

  • Burning, stabbing, or “electric shock”-like pain in the feet or hands that gets worse at night
  • Tingling pain in the feet, ankles, and hands
  • Burning pain and numbness felt at the same time
  • Pain when wearing shoes or while standing

What are the consequences of untreated diabetic nerve pain?

Untreated diabetic nerve pain can have an enormous negative impact on a person’s quality of life. It can negatively affect everything from work productivity to personal relationships.
Chronic diabetic nerve pain can also lead to sleep disturbances, anxiety, and depression.6-8

How can diabetic nerve pain be relieved?

Diabetic nerve pain is not ordinary pain you can deal with by yourself. Conventional painkillers (analgesics) often don't work well for treating it.9

Relief of diabetic nerve pain starts with reaching out and asking for help.

You should see your doctor if you think you might have diabetic nerve pain. If you have diabetic nerve pain, your doctor will work with you to develop an effective plan to help manage your pain. There are now safe and effective medications that can relieve your pain.
Your doctor will choose what is best for you.



  1. Davies M et al. The prevalence, severity, and impact of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006;29(7):1518-22.
  2. NIDDK. Diabetic neuropathies: the nerve damage of diabetes. Available at: Accessed 25 January, 2016.
  3. Meehan S. Diabetes spirals out of control in Gulf. Available at: Accessed 25 January, 2016.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Diabetic neuropathy. Available at: Accessed 25 January, 2016.
  5. Marchettini P et al. Painful peripheral neuropathies. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2006; 4(3):175-81.
  6. Breivik H et al. Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalence, impact on daily life, and treatment. Eur J Pain. 2006;10(4):287-333.
  7. Costigan et al. Neuropathic pain: a maladaptive response of the nervous system to damage. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2009;32:1-32.
  8. Gore M et al. Pain severity in diabetic peripheral neuropathy is associated with patient functioning, symptom levels of anxiety and depression, and sleep. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2005;30(4):374-85.
  9. Wong, S. New drug treatment reduces chronic pain following shingles. Available at: Accessed 25 January, 2016.
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