Exercise and Activity – Next Steps for Neuropathy Recovery
The most common type of peripheral neuropathy is diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Those who are diabetic are at a greater risk of experiencing symptoms or pain related to neuropathy. Depending on each patient’s specific experience, there could be numbness in the feet, tingling or prickling down your legs, increased sensitivity to touch or hot & cold, and burning sensations.
Exercise when dealing with any symptoms related to neuropathy can be very painful and sometimes not even possible. However, starting with simple exercises can actually help decrease the symptoms and pain.
When dealing with diabetic neuropathy, introducing small amounts of exercise is beneficial to:
- Manage your blood sugar
- Help you sleep better
- Reduce Cramping
- Improve blood flow through your body
But before heading to the gym or going outside to exercise you want to make sure that you do the following:
- Consult your Physician
Consulting a physician before you do any new exercises that are outside of your normal daily activities is extremely important. You want to make sure that they have the ability to direct you on what you should and should not be doing at the gym. You would not want to do anything that could increase the symptoms or pain, as well as execute any exercises that could cause an injury.
- Make sure you know how to execute the exercises correctly
There is nothing more dangerous, then going to the gym feeling confident that you know how to perform a few simple exercises, only to find out that you were wrong and now you are injured.
Understanding the complexity of exercises and which exercises are right for you is important.
Stationary bicycles, swimming, and other non-weight bearing exercises are recommended to start with. Here’s a few videos we provide our patients to get you started right.
- Increase slowly
When increasing the amount of time, you are working out, make sure you do it in small increments. You do not want to cause injury to your body. Increasing the weights in your exercises should be done in small increments as well, to avoid any additional symptoms or pain.
- Have the proper footwear
Make sure that when you are going on walks, going to the gym, riding a bike, or whatever exercise you choose that you have the proper footwear. Having gel inserts in your shoes will help with the weight-bearing exercises such as walking, running, jogging, or even weight lifting. As a diabetic foot sores are very common, so doing anything to help prevent that will only help in the long run.