Regular exercise, such as walking three times a week, can reduce neuropathy pain, improve muscle strength and help control blood sugar levels.
Walking can reduce the pain and other symptoms of neuropathy from the nerve damage in your feet and lower legs. Walking and other light aerobic exercises have various benefits for people affected by neuropathy, which is a wide range of conditions involving disease and damage to the peripheral nerves.
There are three main types of exercises ideal for people with peripheral neuropathy: aerobic, balance, and stretching.
- Before you start exercises, warm up your muscles with dynamic stretching like arm circles. ...
- Aerobic exercises move large muscles and cause you to breathe deeply.
While exercise can't reverse neuropathy, it's still important to be physically active when managing diabetes.
The pain and tingling that comes with peripheral neuropathy can have an impact on almost every part of your life. It can especially make it difficult to walk and exercise because it can affect your balance.
It's usually caused by chronic, progressive nerve disease, and it can also occur as the result of injury or infection. If you have chronic neuropathic pain, it can flare up at any time without an obvious pain-inducing event or factor. Acute neuropathic pain, while uncommon, can occur as well.
Inactivity, or holding still too long in one position, can also cause neuropathy. Increased pressure on the median nerve, a nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to the hand, causes carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a common type of peripheral neuropathy.
Severe cases may require medical care but for many patients, gentle exercises that target the affected area can help relieve minor nerve pain. These stretches lessen the pressure placed on the nerve and loosen the surrounding muscles. Plan to make these exercises part of your daily routine, two or three times per day.
While the general benefits of aerobic and flexibility exercises are well-known, increasing movement and heart-rate are particularly important for people suffering with peripheral neuropathy. Physical activity can improve blood circulation, which strengthens nerve tissues by increasing the flow of oxygen.
There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy. You can manage diabetic nerve pain with medication, exercise and proper nutrition.
Foot and Ankle Exercise #1 – Keeping heels on the floor, lift your toes off the floor, and tap them vigorously. Repeat as many times as tolerated. Foot and Ankle Exercise #2 – Keeping heels together and on the floor, lift your toes off the floor as high as possible. Turn toes out, and put them back on the floor.
“If you put your hand in the small of your back, you get a little curve there when you stand up,” Bartleson said, “and that curve narrows the holes where the nerves leave the spine. That can actually increase your spine pain. Walking makes those people worse.”
Walking is a surprisingly effective approach for relieving sciatic pain because regular walking spurs the release of pain-fighting endorphins and reduces inflammation. On the other hand, a poor walking posture may aggravate your sciatica symptoms.
Studies now demonstrate molecular and cellular changes in DRG sensory neurons can be induced by exercise. The benefits of exercise can appear quickly as seen in the improvement in regeneration after nerve injury following as little as 3 or 7 days of exercise (Molteni et al., 2004).
Massage therapy can be beneficial if you have neuropathy — numbness, tingling or pain — in your hands and feet. This is particularly common in cancer survivors.
This means that exercise will not only make your feet and legs feel better, but can actually keep your neuropathy from progressing to a more severe stage. This can reduce your risk of falls, wounds, and other severe complications.
How do I know the nerve is recovering? As your nerve recovers, the area the nerve supplies may feel quite unpleasant and tingly. This may be accompanied by an electric shock sensation at the level of the growing nerve fibres; the location of this sensation should move as the nerve heals and grows.
When not being used quite often, the feet and ankle can develop edema. This is when there is a build-up of fluid located in your feet and your ankles, which have spread to the blood vessels in the soft tissues located in your feet—causing a reaction in your body.
Can I Get Nerve Damage From Sitting Too Much? You won't feel the effects overnight, but the answer is yes. Sitting for long periods of time can slowly damage your nerves. In a recent study, researchers found that 70% of participants had lower physical activities today than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
At night our body temperature fluctuates and goes down a bit. Most people tend to sleep in a cooler room as well. The thought is that damaged nerves might interpret the temperature change as pain or tingling, which can heighten the sense of neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy is the most common, impacting 7 in 10 diabetics, among others. PN is often mistaken for another common illness, multiple sclerosis (MS).
Stage 5: Complete Loss of Feeling
This is the final stage of neuropathy, and it is where you've lost any and all feeling in your lower legs and feet. You do not feel any pain, just intense numbness. This is because there are no nerves that are able to send signals to your brain.