Exercise and Neuropathy

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What are some tips for the person with neuropathy who exercises?

Exercise and Neuropathy

Neuropathy is a complication of diabetes that results in loss of sensation, usually in the extremities. Due to this loss of feeling, the hands and feet become at greater risk for injury and infection, as they cannot sense pressure and damage to the skin.

It is important to consider this when choosing an exercise, and exercise equipment, including footwear. Here are a few tips to keep yourself safe during exercise:

1) ALWAYS check out any exercise
program with your medical doctor
before beginning.
2) Wear properly fitting shoes with
cotton or wool socks, to wick away
moisture that can contribute to
infection and skin breakdown.
3) Check your feet before and after
exercise, to assess for pressure
areas or breaks in the skin. Use a
mirror to see your soles.
4) Have your doctor do regular foot
health check-ups.
5) Keep your nails trimmed. Cut
toenails straight across to avoid
nail growth into the corners of your
skin, or pressure from your other
toes, or your shoes. Don't pick at
hangnails or your cuticles.
6) For exercise that involves your
hands, such as racketball, wear the
recommended protective gloves.
7) Stop if you DO feel any sort of
discomfort, as this can signal that
injury has already occurred.

It is important to include exercise as a part of your diabetic plan, just remember to exercise smart, especially if you have peripheral neuropathy.



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