Exercises for neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition experienced by diabetics when the nerves in the body become damaged because of high blood sugar levels. It is caused by a decreased blood flow especially to the body’s extremities . . . namely, the arms and legs. However it can also affect nerves leading to the internal organs such as the heart, bladder (kidneys), intestines and stomach causing these organs to not work properly.
It manifests itself in a tingling or numbness in the hands, legs and feet. Digestive issues and heart problems may not be as evident but if left unchecked will lead to serious problems. Hopefully, you would have been to your doctor or health-care provider to seek treatment for this disease prior to these conditions developing. These issues take many years to develop and you probably would have noticed other diabetic symptoms during that time.
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms (tingling or numbness), it then becomes even more imperative that you see your doctor or health-care professional. They can give you the proper diagnosis and the medical intervention necessary to treat this condition.
Neuropathy can be very disabling and if not diagnosed and treated properly it can lead to very serious health issues. Imagine not being able to grip things in your hands such as a pot handle or grocery bags. Or stepping on sharp objects and not feeling it. In many cases it will causes a diabetic not to feel heat or cold. People have lost limbs because of this condition.
In addition to the normal medical intervention, there are non-medical steps you can take to alleviate this condition. These would be a change in diet and adopting a regular exercise program. Remember, it is extremely important to keep your glucose levels in the normal range and these steps can help. By following a proper diet and exercise program you will prevent potential nerve damage or at the very least, not make your condition worse.
After visiting with your health care provider and getting clearance for physical activity, you can start an exercise routine. It should include aerobic training, resistance exercises and flexibility training.
Exercises for neuropathy
Some specific resistance exercises you should be doing include:
– Calf raises and stretches to facilitate blood flow in your lower legs
– Using a hand squeezer or small ball such as a tennis ball to exercise hands and fingers
– Using a golf size ball that can be placed under the feet and rolled back and forth and sided to side while sitting to help restore some feeling in your feet and toes
– Doing triceps-extensions using light weights which can help in getting the blood to flow easier in the upper arms
– Squats or lunges. These are fantastic multi-joint exercise for your lower extremity. Doing these not only pumps up your thigh muscles but also exercises the lower legs
– Chest exercises for which pushups continue to be a mainstay. This also is a multi-joint exercise which works several muscle types. There are variations to this exercise and you can start by doing a few repetitions and building up from there.
When doing any of the above mentioned exercises it is important to use proper form or technique. If you don’t do this you could be setting yourself up for injuries. This is the last thing you need as a diabetic. Learn these basic exercises and you will go a long way in managing diabetic neuropathy and even avoiding its complications.
To a healthier you,
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