Neuropathy is damage to the nerves that can lead to tingling, numbness or pain in the affected region. Neuropathy can occur virtually anywhere in the body, but today we are looking at what you can do to counteract its negative impact on the feet.
What Causes Neuropathy in the Feet?
While there are some outlining causes, the main cause of neuropathy in the feet are medical conditions like Diabetes or nerve damage and injuries to the area.
What Can You Do to Help Neuropathy Related Pain?
Although walking and exercising can be made more difficult by the pain you now are experiencing thanks to neuropathy, some specially designed exercises can actually help you reduce the pain and discomfort you are feeling in your feet and lower legs. While it isn’t a permanent solution to the issue, exercises can help you address the cause of your damage and can improve your balance and strengthen your legs and feet.
Exercises to Help Foot Neuropathy
The following are some helpful exercises you can use to reduce neuropathy pain in your feet and lower leg region:
Stretches help keep your joints flexible and mobility helps you remain active even when dealing with a neuropathy injury. Here are some flexibility stretches to try to work out your pain:
- Plantar Fascia Stretch: Place your heels on the ground and toes as close to a wall as possible. (It can be easier to do this stretch in a door frame.) Lean forward and feel the stretch on the bottom of your feet and Achilles. Repeat this three times on each leg and hold for around 20 seconds each.
- Standing Calf Stretch: Stand a few feet in front of a wall, be sure you are close enough to use the wall for balance if needed. Step back with one leg, keeping the knee straight and your foot firmly on the floor. (You will have to bend your front knee). Hold for around 20 seconds and do three reps on each leg.
Aerobic Exercise, Cardiovascular, Range-of-Motion
Not only can neuropathy be helped by stretching, it also does your body good to get the blood pumping by doing aerobic and range-of-motion exercises as well. Here are a few of the best for neuropathy:
- Swimming: This is a great exercise that puts little to no impact on the joints and feet. It also will get you in pretty amazing shape.
- Walking: This doesn’t mean a slow stroll but a more brisk walk to get that heart rate up. It is a simple yet effective exercise for nerve pain. One common question we always get: ‘is walking good exercise for neuropathy’ ? can be answered pretty simply, yes! Try it, it works.
- Bicycling: In most cases, you will want to opt for a stationary bike because this will reduce the risk of crashing or falling off the real thing. Of course, if you want to attempt a real bike ride, it’s obviously okay provided the trail you are biking is relatively flat. An intense trail could make your neuropathy worse. Whichever you decide, real-world or stationary, take the pace nice and slow but consistent to work out those muscles and joints.
In addition to low-impact cardio and stretches, neuropathy also responds well to certain strength training exercises. The following are some good options to try:
- Calf Raises: Brace yourself on something like a countertop, table or wall, then slowly lift your heels off the ground to stand on your tiptoes. Then, lower your feet back to the floor.
- Chair Squats: Stand in front of a chair. Make sure that your hips, knees and feet are all in line. Lower your rear slowly until you are just barely touching the chair. Make sure your ankles and knees remain over your feet. Keep weight on your heels, then lift up again. Do 10 to 15 reps without resting.
Contact us to Learn More
Contact us today to learn more about what you can do to remedy the effects of problematic neuropathy. We can offer some toe exercises for neuropathy suggestions and go over what other types of exercises you can try to help improve your balance and neuropathy symptoms.