Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that weakens your nerves and muscles making you feel numbness, pain and even tingling sensation in your extremities. Treatment for peripheral neuropathy helps reduce some of the symptoms you have, and although exercising won’t cure the condition, it has its benefits. Studies show that exercising can preserve nerve functionality, as well as promote nerve regeneration. Needless say, exercises improve one’s muscle strength, and when done regularly, it may reduce neuropathic pain and help regulate blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes. Regardless of the symptoms that you may be experiencing, that might seem like hindrances, try as much as possible to be active since it helps with pain management and helps you stay fit at the same time.[1] [2]

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Best Exercises/Activities For Peripheral Neuropathy

There are four major activities you can try out if you have peripheral neuropathy. That is exercises that will help with flexibility, balance, strength building, and even aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises are good for people with peripheral neuropathy because increases your heart rate, breathing rate, blood flow, works your muscles, and most importantly, your body gets to release endorphins, which act as natural pain relievers. If you want a good aerobic workout, aim to go for about 30 minutes every day. Some of the aerobic exercises you can incorporate are; brisk walking, water aerobics, and stationary bicycle riding.

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Balance and strength-building exercises are important for individuals with peripheral neuropathy since the symptoms of the condition leave your muscle and joints still to the point of weakness. Balance exercises will help reduce stiffness and improve your stability, while strength-building exercises help strengthen your muscles and build resistance. Some of the balance training activities you should try are side-leg and calf raises, hip flexion, and hip extension. For support, you can use a chair, counter, or workout in an area with bars which you can hold on its. For strength training, you can do chair squats or seated dorsiflexion, or kitchen counter calf raises. Flexibility is also crucial for patients with peripheral neuropathy and they can build it by trying out activities such as seated hamstring stretches, and even plantar fascia stretch. [1] [2]

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The Ultimate Guide To Working Out With Peripheral Neuropathy

Exercises for peripheral neuropathy are an added advantage on the road to your recovery. Individuals with such kind of illness need to be extra careful when exercising so as to avoid further damage. To be on the safe side, you’d need to engage in several pre-exercise ventures to aid in a successful workout session. First things first, you’d have to consult your doctor and let him/her know you plan on starting to exercise. As much as there are various exercises you can try out for various purposes, not all of them may be suitable for your condition. So, you need to choose an appropriate exercise that suits you and works for you in terms of improving your symptoms and the condition in general.

Since individuals with peripheral neuropathy have sensation problems, it is likely that they get an injury without noticing it especially if they can’t feel pain. Therefore, while working out, ensure that you wear protective footwear and well-fitting shoes. It is also important that if you’re not accustomed to exercising, you can start slow, or break down your exercise period into shorter manageable times. For example, if you aim to exercise for 30 minutes, you can do the full time in intervals of 10 minutes, in three different phases.[3]

Conclusion

Exercising is good for your overall health, and while it helps keep you fit, if you have a condition, such as peripheral neuropathy, exercises may have more benefit for you. This is because regular exercising will help improve your symptoms including neuropathic pain. Caution while exercising is vital, and you can do so by wearing protective footwear, and not pushing yourself beyond your body limits. Adding to that, it is best that you warm up before exercising, and thereafter, do some stretches so as to reduce pain from muscle tightness and improve your flexibility.[2]

References:  

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: August 9, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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