For some, the prospect of neuropathy and exercise may seem not only unrealistic but an almost ironic misplacement of priorities. Exercise is important for everyone, though, neuropathy and exercise can help control blood sugar and actually slow down the progression and symptoms of the condition!
Exercising regularly greatly decreases anyone’s risk of diabetic neuropathy, and has been shown to control symptoms and deterioration in sufferers by elevating overall blood flow to the limbs and controlling cardiovascular atrophy. Depending on your specific type of neuropathy, areas affected, and the extent of the damage, you will have to adjust conventional workout routines to accommodate the condition. Ask your NeuropathyDR® clinician if you have questions, and be sure to consult them before beginning any workout program. Your clinician will inspect your feet and legs for signs of potential problems, and will help you make sure your shoes are properly fitted so as to avoid neuropathy-related injuries.
- Use silica gel or air midsoles
- Use polyester or polyester/cotton blend socks to keep your feet dry
- Avoid any workout clothes that rub against your skin in the same area.
Ann Albright of the Division of Diabetes Translation in Atlanta cautions that neuropathy patients will want to steer clear of most repetitive or weight-bearing exercise, such as running, walking, or extensive weight training (although some sources advocate weight training as beneficial, in moderation). So which exercises are the most beneficial while reducing risk?
Swimming is one of the best exercises, as it is an activity adaptable to any age, fitness level, or degree of neuropathy symptoms. Swimming is also a full-body, “no-impact” workout, and so is less harmful to your joints, legs, and feet than most other forms of exercise, without sacrificing circulation (ask any lap swimmer and they’ll tell you—swimming has no problem getting your heart rate up!) As such, it is highly recommended for almost anyone.
Bicycling, rowing, and use of a stationary bicycle are other excellent, low-impact activities that can be safely integrated into a neuropathy treatment program. Some organizations have even developed exercise programs for senior citizens suffering from neuropathy, incorporating a heavy emphasis on seated exercises.
If you don’t have regular access to facilities or equipment for more extensive exercise, there are some basic exercises you can do almost anywhere that can help your neuropathy! Here are some to try:
- For your hands, touch the pad of your thumb with your index finger, running the finger down to the base of your thumb. Then, repeat the movement with the index, middle, ring, and little fingers. Do this exercise several times.
- For your legs and feet, straighten one knee and point your foot. Flex your ankle five times, then circle your foot five times in each direction, clockwise and counterclockwise.
- To increase balance, try this exercise: from a standing position, rise up slowly on your tiptoes, and then rock backward onto your heels. Keep your knees straight, but try not to lock them.
Additional precautions are vital for neuropathy patients to observe. After every workout session, patients should remember to check their feet and any relevant extremities for blisters, irritation, or sores. These could be vulnerable to infections, which themselves could elevate risk for amputation.
It is important for neuropathy sufferers to be mindful of their heart rate and blood pressure. Especially if you suffer from autonomic neuropathy, which can greatly increase risk of heart failure or cardiac arrest, be aware of your limitations when it comes to safe exercise. Don’t worry—there’s a way for everyone to exercise safely. If you have any doubts, consult your NeuropathyDR® clinician to review your workout plan.
Finally, be sure to monitor your body temperature. Neuropathy sufferers are at high risk when it comes to overheating, since some types of neuropathy can reduce the body’s ability to temperature-control. Consult your clinician if sweating seems overly profuse or the opposite, less than normal.
If you have any questions about neuropathy and exercise, contact us at NeuropathyDR or call
We can answer your questions and help put you in touch with a NeuropathyDR® clinician who can help you in person. Have a great workout!
Having a Neuropathy Treatment System to follow, provides for more measurable neuropathy treatment results!
Dr John Hayes Jr
One of the most frustrating things for patients and doctors alike is not having adequate treatment plans for patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain.
Too often, a haphazard approach is taken both by patients and their professionals early on, and the net result is failure, or possibly worsening of the underlying neuropathy and chronic pain condition.
Neuropathy patients are searching continuously for this solution that solution. This magic pill, this wonderful cream that will cure all your ills.
The exotic supplement from the mountains of the Himalayas…You get where this is going.
Whatever you can think of is for sale, specifically targeting neuropathy & pain patients and yes even unwary professionals!
But the good news is when specific neuropathy treatment systems are followed, you know what to expect, and importantly how to measure progress.
For example, most patients who suffer from diabetic neuropathy know when they keep their fasting blood sugars within a healthy range, their neuropathy reacts much better.
Conversely, when blood sugars are out of control due to poor dietary systems the net result is worsening of their neuropathy.
And the same holds true for other facets of neuropathy treatment. For example, having a personal system for regular and scheduled exercise as well as stretching and rest can make a profound difference.
The timing of dietary supplements, combined with other pieces of a real system and yes even medications can make a big difference. We know for example that regularity, in terms of time of day and spacing of dosages and at home or in the clinic can make a huge difference for many neuropathy patients.
We also know that when treating with our home care neuropathy treatment systems at specific times, intensities frequency and combinations with the entire NeuropathyDR treatment system makes a huge difference and leads to bigger improvements in quality of life.
Remember no two patients are the same. Some trial and error is necessary to find out what works best.
But the good news is having a neuropathy treatment system instead of playing “Blind Archery” with your health provides for more measurable neuropathy treatment results!
For more information plesae consider using the NeuropathyDR Treatment Systems used world wide and dont forget to visit us at NeuropathyDR.com
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In today’s post, Dr John Hayes Jr talks to patients and professionals alike about the single most important modifiable risk factor for neuropathy, and yes, a myriad of diseases and health issues.
This is no laughing matter. Obesity, metabolic syndrome & related diseases are skyrocketing out of control.
We are seeing patients at younger and younger ages coming down with devastating illnesses. Our practitioners are seeing the incidence of killers like heart disease and diabetes rise and present earlier and earlier.
Weight loss myths, fads, books, videos abound, no wonder it is a billion dollar industry in our modern world. It is the weight loss merry-go-round!
There is an answer! Fitness is key but diet and healthy eating is crucial. Thats why our most popular post of all time is the NeuropathyDR Diet Plan. Thousands of downloads are distributed online around the world every week!
For in clinic patients, the NeuropathyDR Diet and fitness plans are personalized in our licensed treatment centers, often after extensive personal testing and laboratory evaluations.
Watch, listen carefully and let our Licensed Practitioners help you too! You can get help from any NeuropathyDR Practitioner live, or virtually through our telemedicine portals.
Though it may not seem easy, getting off the weight-loss merry-go-round is crucial.
There’s no other way to say it. To get off the weight loss merry-go-round may just save your life, in addition to helping your neuropathy and a whole host of serious illnesses and diseases.
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Contrary to Popular Thinking About Metabolism and Weight Management, Eating More Often Can Benefit Those with Peripheral Neuropathy.
We all like to blame obesity and excessive/unhealthy eating habits for the development of metabolic problems. In a way, it really is that simple: when you consume more calories at one meal than your body needs, and when what you’re eating is also laden with fats and carbohydrates, then you probably will gain too much weight—which can affect your body systems negatively.
On the other hand, changing HOW OFTEN you eat can have a positive impact and can even assist you in managing your peripheral neuropathy symptoms.
By eating more frequent meals, you will be training your metabolism to operate differently, teaching your body to burn fat rather than store it. Your blood sugar with also even out, and you’ll stay warmer overall—two bonuses for those dealing with neuropathy related to diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
However, there’s a catch. You’ll need to eat smaller and more frequent meals and/or snacks that contain fewer carbohydrates and some type of protein. Ideally, you’ll be eating something every three hours.
An example of the kinds of meals I’m talking about would be a breakfast of steel-cut oats with berries, or perhaps a protein shake. For a substantial snack, you could have a small handful of almonds (which contain healthy fats).
Of course, if you suffer from diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy, you’ll need to be very careful about sugar intake. This just underscores the importance of working with a neuropathy treatment clinician such as one of our NeuropathyDR® professionals, who can create a customized dietary and treatment plan based on your peripheral neuropathy symptoms and individual health needs.
Looking for a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area? To work with one of our specially trained peripheral neuropathy professionals, click here.
Peripheral Neuropathy Can Be Managed with More Frequent Meals is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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Robin Williams was not only phenomenal actor but a wonderful human being. Unfortunately Life’s challenges, combined with what is likely some genetic brain chemistry associated with mental illness take a heavy toll.
This has been a very sad week, losing one of the brightest actors and comedians to ever live.
With my last patient, a nurse this morning we had a frank discussion about why mental illness is still under recognized, under treated, and stigmatized.
I find it very helpful for both patients and professionals to look at it like this. It is our brain and nervous system that determines how we interpret the outside world. When our brains and nervous systems fail to work properly, or are compromised by illness, drugs, or genetic changes, life challenges can push us and overwhelm then come to the forefront.
This is nothing to be ashamed of!!!
There are all different types of mental illness, ranging from depression to schizophrenia to bipolar disorder and of course so much more.
Because we are all unique biochemically and neurologically, some brains demand more but we all require in balance neurotransmitters (brain and nervous system chemical messengers) including dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine, serotonin and all the other co-factors which are essential to make our brains and nervous systems “hum”.
And taking good care of YOU is the FIRST LINE of good health care!
What a lot of doctors and patients fail to realize however is that just as lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, obesity, and poor nutrition contribute to neuropathy and chronic pain they also can contribute significantly to mental illness.
Our brains are the most sensitive portion of our nervous system. This is why diligence and our lifestyles are so important throughout our lives.
And this is also why it is so important to make sure that any mental stress or resultant illness is dealt with compassionately, and professionally very early on.
Your healthcare professional knows that adding certain drugs, as well as nutrients may help lift the veil of mental illness and compliment good therapy and self care.
There’s also good evidence that exercise, yoga, meditation as well as cognitive behavioral therapy can go along way towards helping many people with mental and physical illnesses.
But the most important thing that you need to do is to recognize that dealing directly with mental illness is just as an important part of your health as maintaining normal blood pressure or brushing your teeth.
It’s time we lifted any stigma associated with mental illness early and care for ourselves, and every one around us compassionately and completely!
Mental Illness is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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How To Prevent Acute Pain from Becoming Chronic Pain
Right now, this is a staggering statistic: one fourth of the population in United States suffers from some form of chronic pain. Unlike acute or short-term pain, chronic pain is difficult to treat requiring much more effort, resources, and is more expense than acute pain.
Even more amazing is that of these hundred million plus people a substantial number of people suffer from pain related to neuropathy, shingles, and other nerve related painful disorders or neuralgias. All of these belong to the family of chronic conditions called neuropathic pain.
But why is this? There are no simple answers. Bad things do happen to good people every day.
But two largely preventable causes of neuropathy and related conditions do stand out.
The first is that as a society, we pay less attention to our health on the whole than ever before. This of course is a lifestyle issue that we address here every single day.
The other issue, which is better known, is the failure of both patients and their professionals to manage acute pain correctly.
You see, pain that accompanies largely correctable causes that does not go away in a reasonable period of time can turn into the menace called chronic pain.
But there are some simple things that you can do that will prevent acute pains from becoming chronic.
The most important thing is to learn to treat new symptoms seriously. A good rule of thumb is to never ignore anything that persists more than two days or keeps you awake at night.
This will only serve to heighten the possible risk of developing a chronic or much more serious underlying condition. These can also be the signs that infection, inflammation, or other serious process is at work.
One other very important point that could prevent many acute pain cases from turning chronic,
Be sure that any injuries, accidents and any acute illness is treated appropriately.This often means early and active intervention on both the part of yourself and your healthcare professionals.
As inconvenient and time-consuming as this may sometimes be to treat acute health problems, it’s imperative that we in healthcare get the message out.
Initiating good early treatment, diagnostics and appropriate home care programs could save many from chronic pain and all the disability and life disruption that it brings with it.
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