Stocking & Glove Neuropathy

By Shelia Porter ; Updated July 27, 2017

Stocking and glove neuropathy occurs when nerves in the arms and legs incur damage due to illness or disease. Stocking and glove neuropathy derives its name from the fact that the sensation often mimics the feeling of wearing gloves or stockings. Physicians often refer to this condition as peripheral neuropathy.


The most common causes of stocking and glove neuropathy include type 1 and type 2 diabetes, AIDS, alcohol abuse, use of certain drugs, old age, and exposure to environmental toxins. Less common causes include trauma and genetic disposition. In approximately one-third of the cases of stocking and glove neuropathy, no evidence of a specific cause exists.


Stocking and glove neuropathy presents as the sensation of tightness, pins and needles, or tingling in the areas where an individual would wear a pair of gloves or stockings. Some patients suffer pain in addition to the stocking and glove sensation. The condition usually begins as loss of feeling and a tingling sensation and gradually worsens if left untreated.


Over-the-counter pain medications generally control the mild symptoms associated with stocking and glove neuropathy. As the condition progresses, use of anti-seizure medications such as pregabalin, gabapentin and topiramate may help to decrease the symptoms.

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