Distal symmetric diabetic peripheral polyneuropathy (DPN) is the most common form of neuropathy in the world, affecting 30 to 50% of diabetic individuals and resulting in significant morbidity and socioeconomic costs. This review summarizes updates in the diagnosis and management of DPN. Recently updated clinical criteria facilitate bedside diagnosis, and a number of new technologies are being explored for diagnostic confirmation in specific settings and for use as surrogate measures in clinical trials. Evolving literature indicates that distinct but overlapping mechanisms underlie neuropathy in type 1 versus type 2 diabetes, and there is a growing focus on the role of metabolic factors in the development and progression of DPN. Exercise-based lifestyle interventions have shown therapeutic promise. A variety of potential disease-modifying and symptomatic therapies are in development. Innovations in clinical trial design include the incorporation of detailed pain phenotyping and biomarkers for central sensitization.