Exercise for Peripheral Neuropathy: What are the Benefits?
The benefits of exercising for peripheral neuropathy include reducing pain, improving mood, increasing energy levels and decreasing fatigue. You will feel better if you do not have to spend much time or money on medical care. If you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, it may affect your daily life because you cannot perform routine activities such as driving, working or even sleeping properly due to numbness in one or both legs.
If you have peripheral neuropathy, you need to take steps to prevent further deterioration of your condition. There are several ways in which you can improve your situation.
1) Reduce Stress – Exercise helps reduce stress levels and improves mental health.
Physical activity reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and increases feelings of well being. Regular physical activity may decrease risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
2) Improve Mood – Exercise helps improve mood and decreases depression.
Physical activity increases serotonin levels in the brain and improves mood. Regular physical activity may increase longevity.
3) Increase Energy Levels – Exercise helps increase energy levels and decrease fatigue.
Regular physical activity may help prevent weight gain, especially around the waist area.
4) Decrease Pain – Exercise helps reduce pain and improves overall quality of life.
5) Slow Progression of Symptoms – Regular physical activity may slow the progression of symptoms caused by peripheral neuropathy.
6) Promote Better Sleep – Physical activity taken on a regular basis helps people with peripheral neuropathy get a better night’s sleep.
7) Improve Overall Health – Regular physical activity helps reduce weight, increase muscle strength, promote healthier bones and joints as well as improve coordination and balance.
8) Promote Better Blood Circulation – Physical activity promotes healthy blood circulation, which is especially helpful for people with peripheral neuropathy who suffer from poor blood circulation.
9) Promote Relaxation – For some people, exercise is a great way to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
10) Improve Energy Efficiency – Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, yet it still promotes healthy energy efficiency and all-around fitness.
11) Promote Better Skin – Exercising regularly helps promote better skin because it helps the body eliminate toxins through sweat and urine.
12) Promote Weight Loss or Weight Maintenance – For people with peripheral neuropathy who are overweight, regular physical activity helps promote weight loss. For all others, it helps maintain a high level of fitness and weight at an appropriate level.
13) No Need for Medications – Regular physical activity helps people with peripheral neuropathy reduce their need for pain medication.
14) Build Confidence – Regular physical activity helps people with peripheral neuropathy feel better about themselves in general.
15) Prevent Isolation – Many people with peripheral neuropathy become reclusive because it is too painful to go out. However, regular physical activity helps prevent people from becoming isolated.
Sources & references used in this article:
Exercise for people with peripheral neuropathy by CM White, J Pritchard… – Cochrane Database of …, 2004 – cochranelibrary.com
Exercise intervention studies in patients with peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review by F Streckmann, EM Zopf, HC Lehmann, K May, J Rizza… – Sports medicine, 2014 – Springer
Exercise training can modify the natural history of diabetic peripheral neuropathy by S Balducci, G Iacobellis, L Parisi, N Di Biase… – Journal of diabetes and …, 2006 – Elsevier
The effect of exercise on neuropathic symptoms, nerve function, and cutaneous innervation in people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy by PM Kluding, M Pasnoor, R Singh, S Jernigan… – Journal of Diabetes and …, 2012 – Elsevier
Weight-bearing versus nonweight-bearing exercise for persons with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy: a randomized controlled trial by MJ Mueller, LJ Tuttle, JW LeMaster, MJ Strube… – Archives of physical …, 2013 – Elsevier
Effect of aerobic exercise on peripheral nerve functions of population with diabetic peripheral neuropathy in type 2 diabetes: a single blind, parallel group randomized … by S Dixit, AG Maiya, BA Shastry – Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 2014 – Elsevier