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These Exercises May Improve Peripheral Neuropathy Symptoms

Peripheral neuropathy can be an extremely debilitating condition. Often, it can leave sufferers in so much pain - often in their legs and feet - that they are unable to get up and out of bed or walk across the room. So naturally, many sufferers balk at the idea of using exercise to improve their peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Yes, it does sound pretty far-fetched, but believe it or not, even low-impact exercise can make a big impact on the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Plus, exercise offers an added benefit for patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy: It can help you lose weight and lower blood sugar, giving you better control of your diabetes.

If your PN symptoms cause you pain, stiffness and numbness, speak with Dr. Weller about incorporating some of these exercises recommended by the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy into your daily routine.

Aerobic Exercises

When you hear "aerobic exercises," does your mind automatically go to people jumping around in sweatbands and leotards? Well, thankfully, 1980s-style "aerobics" isn't the only way to get aerobic exercise. In fact, even walking can be aerobic exercise - and best of all, you can still wear normal clothes!

Aerobic exercise helps with your peripheral neuropathy symptoms by getting your heart pumping, increasing your heart rate and breathing rate. It also works your muscles. For PN patients, we recommend at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise, which can be broken up into smaller intervals in the beginning.

• Walking
• Aerobics (leotard optional)
• Stationary or recumbent bicycle
• Swimming or water aerobics

Balance Exercises

Balance exercises are extremely beneficial if you experience weakness or numbness in the limbs. Building your balance can be the difference between falling and suffering from a serious injury and steadying yourself enough to catch yourself or fall gently. Try these exercises to help build balance.

Calf raises: For beginners, it helps to hold on to something when doing these exercises, so start by standing next to a table or countertop. Place each of your index fingertips on the counter. Stand firmly on both feet, and lift one foot off the floor behind you, bending your knee at a 90-degree angle (almost in a flamingo stance). Next, slowly raise your standing foot so you are on your toes. Slowly lower your heel back down to flat-footed position and repeat. Complete two of these exercises, and then alternate feet, repeating the same exercise for a total 10 to 15 reps, two times a day.

Hip extensions: Hip extensions help your legs and hips remain flexible while strengthening balance. To do this exercise, hold on to the back of a chair or tabletop, standing about a foot behind it. Bending at the hips, lift one leg behind you and hold it there for 10 to 15 seconds. Change feet and repeat. Aim for two repetitions on each leg, twice a day

Strength Exercises

Building up your strength can not only help you complete other exercises, but it can also help your endurance in daily life. From being able to lift heavy objects or stand for long periods of time to even just walking around your office or the mall during the day, strength exercises are extremely beneficial to your entire body.

Leg flexes: Sit down on a chair and firmly plant your feet on the ground. With feet placed flat, slowly lift both toes and ankles up off the floor and then place them slowly back down. Do 10 to 15 lifts per rep, and three reps twice a day.

Seated squats: Sitting on a chair with armrests, position your feet with one foot flat below you and the other a step in front. Using the armrests, push your weight forward until you are standing. Next, use the armrest to lower your body back into the seated position. Repeat without rest, maintaining control while you raise and lower your body. Repeat 10 to 15 times per repetition. Aim for two repetitions, twice a day.

Remember, speak to Dr. Weller before beginning any exercise regimen, and if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Restore Wellness Center at 480-751-1629.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

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