You Can Reduce Neuropathy Symptoms Through Appropriate Movement, Even If Exercise Usually Tends to Be Painful.
Even if your neuropathy symptoms leave you feeling like it’s impossible to exercise…
There ARE ways to get moving and stay active while supporting your neuropathy treatment needs.
Your doctor will tell you that gentle, appropriate exercise will help you maintain a healthier weight, improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your bones, manage your blood sugar levels, and even help to ward off depression and anxiety.
The best exercise for reducing neuropathy symptoms is focused on gentle, fluid movement that isn’t jarring or overly taxing. Here are a few types of gentle exercise that you may want to consider as part of an overall treatment plan for neuropathy symptoms.
- Stretching is a basic but essential way to keep your body limber despite neuropathy symptoms. Try to develop a self-directed program of stretches that you do each day before getting out of bed as well as a few stretches to help you unwind before bed.
- Tai Chi is a type of martial art that involves very slowly and deliberately working each of the muscle groups in your body. It is considered a very gentle form of exercise that can also improve your circulation and improve mood.
- Some types of yoga are appropriate for people with neuropathy symptoms. Look for a class or video that is called “gentle” or “restorative” yoga. You don’t need to be particularly flexible or limber to participate in yoga and can move at your own pace.
- Swimming or a gentle version of water aerobics are both great movement choices for anyone who has difficulty or pain from walking. The support of warm water can help to loosen up your body and support your joints, as well as reducing pressure on your feet.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before undergoing any change in your activity level.
For more tips on reducing neuropathy symptoms, see our neuropathy owners manual: I Beat Neuropathy!
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A General Doctor or Nutritionist May Be Giving You Outdated Diet Information When It Comes to Managing Diabetic Neuropathy.
You’ll see that I have been mentioning diabetes frequently on this blog. That’s because it is unfortunately such a common precursor to developing symptoms of neuropathy.
And diabetic neuropathy can be painful and difficult to treat. It is frustrating for both doctors and patients!
What seems to be the case is that in general, diabetic neuropathy is not being treated aggressively. Diabetes patients are being told that they should lose some weight and get some exercise. But “some” isn’t good enough when it comes to diabetic neuropathy.
What’s worse, you may have been given specifics about a diabetes diet from a nutritionist, but if you look closely, that diet still contains too many grains and fruits.
With diabetic neuropathy, you will need to keep carbohydrates at an absolute minimum—even “healthy” carbs. Most people with diabetic neuropathy should be restricting carbs to 15 g at one meal.
Of course, talk with your doctor before undergoing any significant health lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. These changes will require you to adjust any medications you are taking for diabetes control, especially insulin. It is dangerous to change your diet or activity level without consulting your doctor.
It’s also important, of course, to be your own best health advocate. Management of your diabetic neuropathy is within your control. The ideal is to work with a trained neuropathy specialist who can tailor your diabetic neuropathy treatment to your own specific health needs and lifestyle. A neuropathy clinician will be interested not only in your lab numbers but in the details of your quality of life and be looking to help you improve on that drastically.
To find a diabetic neuropathy expert in your area, click here.
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No Neuropathy Treatment Plan is Complete Without a Strategy for Physical Activity to Enhance Health.
You already know that physical exercise is good for everyone.
It’s easy to think that this general advice about movement for good health just doesn’t apply to someone like you who is struggling with neuropathy pain or numbness.
After all, many people undergoing neuropathy treatment have a hard time with mobility. It might seem absurd to think of yourself “exercising” when it’s hard to even reliably walk without falling, or when neuropathy pain makes it uncomfortable to be very active.
However, the fact is that your health is on a downhill decline as long as you are living a sedentary lifestyle. Inactivity contributes to problems with metabolism, which can lead in turn to diabetes and other global health problems. It can also make your neuropathy symptoms worse.
And there ARE safe and effective ways for people in neuropathy treatment to become more active on a day to day basis.
For example, people who struggle with walking because of neuropathic pain in the legs or feet can have good success with low-impact exercise equipment, such as a stationary bike. You might also consider exercises done in a heated pool. Chair yoga and stretching are also appropriate ways to incorporate gentle movement into your day.
The best part of incorporating more movement into your daily routine is that it’s simple to add just a little exercise here and there. Even making sure that five minutes out of every hour contains some kind of physical activity will make an impact on your long-term health.
Be sure to talk with your neuropathy treatment clinician about the best kind, frequency, and duration of exercise for you and your unique health situation. Remember, in neuropathy treatment, there is no “one size fits all” prescription.
For more information about ways to enhance your neuropathy treatment through diet and exercise, take a look at our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!
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Choosing Your Neuropathy Treatments Specialist is the Most Important Step Back to Wellness.
The first step to choosing effective neuropathy treatments is the hardest. That’s because it may feel that the path of treatment is entirely up to you.
Unfortunately, many general practitioners, oncologists, and other doctors are just not trained with a specialty background in neuropathy—leaving patients to research on their own to try to understand their treatment options.
This is a confusing process that is made worse by the fact that neuropathy isn’t just a single disease. It’s a condition with many individual factors. Your experience of neuropathy is unique in the context of your entire medical history and specific symptoms.
And that is why there are so-called neuropathy treatments or “cures” out there that just will not work for most people…. because they are a blanket approach to a very individual problem.
When it comes to neuropathy treatments, the most effective path is one that uses multiple effective treatment components in a way that is uniquely tailored to your needs.
For that reason, the first step and the very most important step, before looking at any specific neuropathy treatments for your symptoms, is to find a highly trained neuropathy specialist who will do a thorough assessment in order to create YOUR unique treatment plan.
This plan will probably involve addressing any underlying conditions that aggravate neuropathy, such as diabetes, as well as components of lifestyle and diet changes, appropriate medications, and state of the art therapies like laser light therapy.
Note that medication was not the first item on that neuropathy treatments list. That’s because neuropathy specialists understand that medication is not a cure-all for neuropathy symptoms, and sometimes can actually impair your quality of life due to side effects.
The most important thing you can do for your health today is to talk with a NeuropathyDR® clinician. Click here to find a neuropathy specialist in your area.
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Take These Steps Today to Minimize Your Exposure to Harmful Toxins That Make Neuropathy Symptoms Worse.
Most people picture toxins on a huge, catastrophic level, like nuclear waste. Unfortunately, our everyday lives are full of potential toxins that exist in our food, air, and water, some of which can live for days or longer in the fatty tissues of our bodies. This is a significant issue for those who are living with neuropathy symptoms, which can be made worse by exposure to toxins.
It’s also important to understand that these toxins tend to accumulate over time, so small amounts of toxin exposure can lead to significant negative health effects.
Some of the toxins we’re talking about here include antibiotic residues in water, chemical residues on your food from the use of pesticides, and hidden household pollutants like radon gas.
The good news is that you can take steps right away to begin reducing your exposure to harmful toxins that can make neuropathy symptoms worse.
Start by using a filter for your drinking water. Depending on your needs and preferences, you could choose to use a pitcher with a built-in filter that you change frequently, or a whole-house filtering system that will provide filtered water from every tap.
We also recommend filtering your food, so to speak, by avoiding processed foods and selecting organic produce whenever possible. Growing vegetables for your own use is a wonderful alternative to buying them, although you’ll need to avoid using commercial pesticides in your garden. Chemicals that kill insects tend to be very bad for your body, too! Consider using non-toxic spray soap to deter insects instead.
Speaking of growing things, no matter how much you enjoy having a perfectly green and manicured lawn, we urge our patients not to use commercial chemicals to enhance lawn growth or color.
You can also choose to use “green” cleaners around your home. But don’t assume that anything with the word “green” on the label is a good idea—you’ll need to read the label. Better yet, do an Internet search to learn about using very basic materials like vinegar and baking soda to clean your home. You’ll save money in addition to knowing that harsh chemicals in your home aren’t aggravating your neuropathy symptoms.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reducing toxins in order to reduce neuropathy symptoms. For more information about a healthy lifestyle to support treatment of your neuropathy symptoms, take a look at our neuropathy owners manual, I Beat Neuropathy!
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