The commonest cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes and pain occurs in approximately 30% of diabetic patients with neuropathy. It is extremely distressing for the patient and poses significant difficulties in management, as no treatment to date provides total relief and the side effects of therapy limit dose titration. Understanding the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy may lead to the development of new treatments for preventing nerve damage. Furthermore, a better understanding of the mechanisms that modulate pain may lead to more effective relief of painful symptoms. This review provides an update on the assessment and treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.