Peripheral Neuropathy - a Physiotherapy and Exercise

Peripheral neuropathy treatment is available these days readily for anyone who wants to undergo non-surgical procedures. It becomes vital, thus, to understand the routine one has to follow once the treatment procedure is complete. Before understanding the post-treatment routines, it is important to get a brief overview of what the disease entails.

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that refers to damaged nerves. The nerves which carry the message from the spinal cord to the brain and then from the brain to the body. The condition gives you damaged nerve tissues which can be treated with non-surgical peripheral neuropathy treatments. Once the nerves are revived, it is imperative to keep them in good condition and keep the flow going. Hence, post-treatment procedures become an important part of the treatment itself.

The maintaining of the nerve cells and its flow can be made sure by attending regular physical therapy sessions and regular exercise. There are several exercises which you can do at your home that would help you achieve the same. Before we delve into the world of simple exercises to maintain the steady flow of spinal nerve tissues, let’s look at physical therapy briefly and what it encompasses.

Physiotherapy can be useful to maintain strength, mobility and function of the cells regardless of the underlying cause of Peripheral Neuropathy. The Physiotherapists objectives include maintaining and improving the motion of the muscles through simple stretching and non-stretching exercises. The use of weights are eventually introduced to further strengthen the muscles by exercising against the weight’s resistance. Balance training ensures the overall stability of the treated muscles and prevents falls. Physio's sometimes also recommend braces or splints to enhance the balance of the body and maintain a steady posture. Splinting is often used in the treatment of compression mononeuropathies, like the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Research has shown that regular exercises can help peripheral neuropathy patients to improve their muscle strength moderately. On top of that, it can also help patients suffering from PN to maintain regular blood sugar levels, and can reduce neuropathic pain. The process consists of mainly four kinds of exercises which are further divided into sub-groups. They are:

- Aerobic Exercises
– Flexibility Exercises
– Strength Training Exercises
– Balance Exercises

1. Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercises helps in increasing your heart rate, working your muscles and raising your breathing rate. Ideally, it is best to aim for about 30 minutes a day for 3 to 5 days a week. But, if you’re just starting out, it is okay to work for around 10 minutes and work your way up through the weeks. Some of the examples for aerobic exercise include taking a walk (either indoors or outdoors), taking a low-impact aerobic class, swim or do water exercises, stationary bicycle indoors etc.

2. Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises also known as stretching helps strengthen body muscles and reduces the chance of injuries during other routine activities. Gentle stretching exercises helps your body warm up for aerobic exercises like walking or swimming. Be sure to check with your physician before you start doing any of the exercises. Some examples of flexibility exercises are the calf stretch (placing one leg in front of the other and stretching your calf), seated hamstring stretch etc.

3. Strength Training

Strength training exercises helps to make the muscles stronger and more injury resistant. It can help you regain lost strength in your muscles through constant training routines. Some of the most common exercises include kitchen counter calf raises (done whilst standing in the kitchen with two fingers on the counter, and raising one calf while stretching the other calf muscle), chair squats (done by doing a split stance with hand on armrests), and seated dorsiflexion (done by placing both feet flat on the ground while seated on a chair, gradually pulling up toes and ankles).

4. Balance Exercises

Balance exercises are a crucial part in the recovery process of peripheral neurotherapy. Keeping your balance becomes extremely important when suffering from an illness of joint pain, weakness or dizziness. Balance training is vital in overcoming the feeling of stiffness and unsteadiness. It is especially popular among the elderly. Older muscles are smaller and slower and thus, maintaining balance can help prevent falls and in turn injuries that may arise due to those falls.

These were some of the exercises that can help you post peripheral neuorpathy treatment. Some forms of peripheral neuropathy can be averted by maintaining sound health habits. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and abstaining from excessive alcohol consumption can all help prevent nerve damage. Avoiding injuries and toxic chemicals and carefully managing underlying disorders, such as diabetes, can also help prevent peripheral neuropathy. Be sure to check with your physician first before undertaking any exercising routine in this list