Peripheral neuropathy can be very difficult to diagnose, since it can have numerous causes. Diabetes is a common cause, but there are many other causes, some of which still evade detection by even the most sophisticated tests.
If you are having symptoms in both feet, the problem is likely to be systemic (circulatory, endocrine, or neurological disease, for example.) It is also possible, but far less likely, that swelling or other condition is compressing or pinching the sensory nerves in your lower back. The problem may also be caused by a minor defect in the sensory pathway in the spinal column, and as long as the discomfort is localized to just your feet, it may continue to escape detection.
However, your peripheral neuralgia should still be treated as any other peripheral neuralgia, and lumbar sympathectomy is one treatment option. Numerous drugs are useful in treating neuropathy, including anti-depressants, anti-seizure drugs, and anti-anxiety drugs. Although these medications weren't developed for nerve pain, many have been very helpful in reducing the frequency and severity of neuropathic pain. Some suggestions of commonly used meds include Tegretol, Trileptal, Elavil, Pamelor, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Keppra, Klonopin, Effexor, and Remeron, though there are dozens of others.
If you do not feel that your neurologist or present doctor is treating you properly, consider finding another doctor. Pain Management specialists treat peripheral neuropathies very often, and I have had best results with Pain Clinics. Not all pain specialists are the same - of course - so you might have to see more than one before you find one who really seems to understand you and is willing to treat you with different modalities. Most pain specialists choose to try least invasive therapies first, in order not to make a given situation worse.
I have been dealing with peripheral neuralgia of my own for over 30 years, and I know how frustrating it can be to find a doctor who is willing to work with you and treat you as a member of your treatment "team." Best of luck in your search for help.
Originally Posted by MichG
I have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy after having had a bilateral lumber sympathectomy (totally unnecessary) and after numerous tests conducted at my Neurologist's offices and through blood tests to find the cause.
My glucose is slightly raised and my thyroid test is borderline but other than that the Neurologist cannot see a cause for my numb and painful feet.
The front part of my foot is numb and burns when I have walked a distance (about 20 minutes) or stood for longer than 5 - 10 minutes. On top of this I get stabbing pains going through my toes - some days worse than others.
Does this mean the end of taking walks, taking a stroll on the beach - is there hope - does it get worse - I have sobbed many a tear since learning that the cause is unknown - I thought it was going to be easier - find the cause, treat it and all will be well again - how wrong I was