Why You Should Join a Support Group if You Have Peripheral Neuropathy

Those who suffer from peripheral neuropathy often find a support group helpful. That burning, itching, tingling, or pins and needles sensation can be challenging to live with. While medical providers can be a great resource for information, they can’t always tell you how to cope with something they have never experienced themselves.

What is a Peer Support Group?

A peer support group is a regular meeting of people suffering from the same condition you have. You get together regularly to discuss your symptoms and treatments. It is an opportunity to share frustrations, accomplishments, and advice.

What are the Benefits of a Peer Support Group?

There are many benefits to getting together with your peers, including:

Community: Stress and depression can make nerve pain worse. Feeling isolated and alone in your suffering can increase your symptoms. Joining a group of like-minded people can alleviate stress, helping to reduce your symptoms. Being part of a community helps us look outside ourselves, allowing us to connect and feel useful.

Questions: It can be helpful to ask questions of more experienced members of the group, especially just after diagnosis. Examples include:

  • You have a new symptom. Is it normal, or is something wrong that needs medical attention? You see several nodding heads in the group as they all agree what you feel is a common part of neuropathy progression. Depending on the symptom, you may still want to see your provider. However, you’ll have a better idea whether you should set an appointment or go to the emergency room.
  • Your neuropathy makes it impossible to feel blisters forming on your feet. You can ask the group what stores sell footwear to prevent foot damage and what they look for when selecting the proper shoes.
  • You were just diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy and had to learn a whole new way of eating to control your blood sugar. You can share recipes and ideas in the group.

Education: An important part of every support group should be education. You could have a moderator in charge of setting the agenda or take turns researching topics. Learning together helps people grow in their understanding of their condition, know what questions to ask their doctors, and make informed choices about their care.

Techniques: One of the best benefits of a peer group is learning real-world coping techniques for problems you face daily.

  • You notice you’ve been dizzy lately and tend to tip. Another member of the group has experienced the same symptoms. The experienced member suggests a four-footed cane. It offers more stability, provides more physical cues to your brain about the terrain, and makes you feel more secure.
  • You’re having trouble manipulating buttons into buttonholes when you get dressed. Another member suggests snap shirts or pullovers to bypass the problem.
  • One of your family members is hovering, driving you crazy. Other group members who have learned to navigate family reactions to symptoms and treatments can offer perspective.

Treatment Information: Severe nerve pain makes it difficult for you to sit without pain. Other members might suggest the following to help with pain management:

  • A cushion that alleviates the pressure on the nerves
  • Chiropractic care to see if spinal misalignment is compressing the nerves going down your legs
  • Exercises or stretches they found help with the pain
  • A provider that made a difference for them
  • Newer treatments like light or low-level laser treatments, low-level electric nerve stimulation, and others

Last Thoughts

While talking to people who have experienced what you are experiencing is helpful, no two people or conditions are exactly the same. It’s important to be sensitive to the feelings of others, particularly just after diagnosis when the other member is still adjusting to the news. Be supportive and respectful to others.

If there isn’t a support group near you, consider starting one of your own or looking online for a group that meets virtually. You are not the only one with peripheral neuropathy. Many individuals struggle with the condition, and everyone can benefit from a little support.


The information, including but not limited to, texts, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article are for informational purposes only. None of the material mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.


Why You Should Join a Support Group if You Have Peripheral Neuropathy


A peer support group is a regular meeting of people who are dealing with the same condition as you. There are numerous benefits to connecting with others who understand what you’re going through. Find out more in this infographic.

5 Peer Support Benefits Infographic

Suffering From Numbness, Tingling Or Pain In The Hands Or Feet? We Can Help.

Recent Blogs

What Causes Pins and Needles in Your Hands and Feet?

When you feel itching, tingling, pricking, or numbness in your extremities it’s called paresthesia. It’s the feeling you get when your hand or foot “falls asleep.” Prolonged pressure on nerves or blood vessels can cause paresthesia. Often, all you need to do is shift...

Is Autonomic Nerve Damage Causing Your Symptoms?

If you've recently been diagnosed with nerve damage, like peripheral neuropathy, you may also experience symptoms of autonomic nerve damage. Autonomic neuropathy often goes undiagnosed because of the wide variety of symptoms. If the symptoms in this article sound...

Can Diet Be a Factor in Developing Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral Neuropathy is damage to the nerves outside your brain and spinal cord. Several factors can lead to a person developing this condition. It might surprise you to learn that diet is one of the main factors. Find out how by reading the following responses from...