Exercise can help manage the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. While the uncomfort won’t go away, staying active as much as possible serves to keep the body and mind sharp.
Fitness Expert, Jennifer Bayliss in Everydayhealth.com, answers the question,
“I have diabetes-related neuropathy and I’m a little afraid to exercise because of it. Can you give me some ideas on how to get active and avoid further complications.
Ms Bayliss first points out the benefits of staying active.
“After all, physical activity can help you control your blood sugar levels, improve your mood, and manage stress and emotions. It can also aid in weight loss, which helps lessen tension and pain in your lower body.”
Then she recommends the following steps as a safe and successful program to follow.
- Talk to your doctor about possible health risks before starting any strenuous physical routine.
- Begin with seated exercises if there is pain with standing or balance issues could affect your safety.
- Practice balance training when possible as a way to work the lower muscles of the body.
- Find the right cardio regimen, such as swimming or exercise bikes, if walking or running isn’t possible.
- Regularly check your feet, hands or other pressure points for sores, which can present serious problems, if gone undetected.
Besides the medical benefits, activity helps a person feel happier and more alive.
Another study found that Exercise May Reduce Impact of Diabetic Neuropathy Pain on Daily Life.
“The researchers found that, although pain intensity had not changed by the end of the program, participants reported significant reductions in how much pain interfered with their walking, normal work, relationships with others, sleep, and how much pain interfered with their life overall.”
One summary on a scientific study about the advantages of exercise to possibly prevent the serious effects of diabetic peripheral neuropathy concluded,
“Fortunately, patients can combat—and even prevent—diabetic peripheral neuropathy by following a regular exercise routine. Aerobic exercises, such as running or swimming, strength training exercises, functional training, and tai chi have all been shown to improve symptoms, whether by decreasing pain and neuropathic symptoms or by increasing function and nerve conduction. In addition, exercise improves glucose control and combats other complications related to diabetes, such as obesity and hypertension, thus making it a cornerstone of any diabetic patient’s treatment.”