The pain and tingling associated with peripheral neuropathy can impact almost every aspect of your life.
It can be tough to walk because of the pain you can experience in your feet and the effect it has on your balance.
Neuropathy can sometimes increase your risk for falls.
So, you may be asking “Is walking bad for neuropathy?”
Not at all.
Walking can reduce the pain and other symptoms of neuropathy from the nerve damage in your feet and lower legs.
Walking and other light aerobic exercises have various benefits for people affected by neuropathy, which is a wide range of conditions involving disease and damage to the peripheral nerves.
In the article below, we will take a look at why walking is good for your neuropathy.
Walking For Peripheral Neuropathy
Walking and cardiovascular fitness exercises and general are obviously an important part of your overall health and well-being.
There are several benefits of exercise like walking.
They will help you manage weight, improve blood sugar levels and blood flow, get more oxygen and nutrients to your legs, improve muscle strength, and help you get better sleep.
This will all have a positive effect on your neuropathy.
However, regular exercise can be hard for people with neuropathy.
A typical cardio exercise program is typically loaded with high-impact movements like running, jump rope, and burpees.
If your legs and feet are weakened by neuropathy, those demands may be too severe to perform safely.
Fortunately, walking is an excellent alternative to these exercises.
Even though walking is a low-impact exercise and it’s not as intense as the movements we talked about above, brisk walking is still a great cardio exercise, especially if you’re walking for at least 30 minutes at a time.
Be Sure to Consult Your Doctor
It’s important to mention that you should consult with your doctor before starting any of the many forms of exercise.
It’s especially important if you have neuropathy because neuropathy can affect how you respond (or don’t) to injury or activities that risk injury.
Someone with neuropathy with numbness or loss of sensation in their legs and feet might not know when they’ve sprained an ankle or gotten a blister from tight shoes.
Pain is meant to protect us, and if you have neuropathy and can’t feel pain, you can be injured and never know it.
Some people with neuropathy lose feeling in their lower limbs so bad that they can fracture their ankles without realizing it.
They continue to walk on the injury, and things just get worse and worse, leading to the need for major surgical reconstruction.
Stretch Before You Walk
Stretching will improve the blood flow to your limbs and reduce the pain and tension in your muscles, all of which can affect neuropathy.
There is an unlimited number of stretches you can do.
To stretch your calf muscles, a seated stretch is your best option if the neuropathy has affected your balance.
Just grab a long towel or throw blanket and sit down with your legs in front of you.
Take the towel and place the ball of one foot in the middle of the towel.
Using the towel, pull your leg up while keeping your knee as straight as you can.
You can also stretch your hamstrings using a chair.
Sit close to the edge of the chair, and lift one leg, point the toe, and extend it out in front of you while keeping the other foot flat on the floor.
After that, lean over until your chest touches your straight leg, keeping your back as straight as you can.
Gradually Increase Your Exercise Frequency
If you’ve been dealing with neuropathic pain for a while and you haven’t exercised in a while, you need to walk before you run.
Or, in this case, walk slowly before you walk.
Start small, walking slowly for a quarter of a mile, and then take a look at your feet and legs.
If you have any reason to be concerned about your feet after your walk, call your doctor.
Every time you walk, inspect your legs and feet before and after, keeping an eye out for increased redness and skin breakdown.
Buy a plastic mirror to look at the bottoms of your feet if you are not flexible enough to see the bottoms on your own, or ask a loved one to check them.
It’s also a good idea to wear white socks so if there is any drainage or bleeding you’ll notice it right away.
After you’ve consulted with your doctor and taken all of the necessary precautions, get as much exercise as your condition allows.
Not Getting Enough Exercise Can Make Neuropathy Worse
Not only is walking good for your neuropathy, not walking can actually make your neuropathic symptoms worse.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to chronic pain and make many of the common symptoms of neuropathy worse.
Again, regular exercise is an excellent way to control blood sugar, improve circulation to the feet, combat obesity and high blood pressure.
Regular exercise as simple as a long walk powerfully counteracts some of the most significant diabetic neuropathy risk factors.
However, the worse your neuropathy symptoms are and the more risk factors you have, the harder it will be to exercise safely.
If you have no sensation in your feet, muscle weakness, or brittle bones, your risk of injuring yourself during a walk is much higher.
Pain from neuropathy, or a lack thereof, creates a vicious cycle where you’re too afraid to exercise, which will make your neuropathy worse, making it even harder to exercise safely.
If you have diabetic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, or any other form of neuropathy and want to keep it from getting worse, see your doctor and talk about what kinds of exercises would be the safest and most beneficial.
Want to learn more about things that can make neuropathy worse? Check out this blog: Food People with neuropathy should avoid.
Receive The Care You Need
Most types of neuropathies will benefit from light-impact exercise like a brisk walk.
Just a tiny bit of exercise can help you avoid permanent nerve damage and improve your symptoms.
If you’re suffering from neuropathy, the last thing you want is for nerve pain to get worse.
Fortunately, there is a treatment for neuropathy for everyone.
The treatment programs at Ethos Health Group consist of cutting-edge, non-invasive therapies that stimulate new blood vessels’ growth to help reverse nerve damage in the feet or hands.
We also utilize our NeuroRegen-CT injections that combine platelet-rich plasma (PRP) with platelet-derived growth factors from your own blood to help support blood vessels and nerve growth to reverse damage from peripheral neuropathy.
If you’re ready to manage your neuropathy better and find relief from your symptoms, contact Ethos Health Group as soon as possible.
Click the button below to schedule your free consultation.