5 Simple Foot Exercises for Neuropathy Relief

October 13, 2020 by NervePainRemedies

Neuropathy of the feet is a painful condition and one that can cause a lot of interruptions in your daily routine.

Peripheral neuropathy is caused by nerve damage in the body, often the result of type 2 diabetes, which comes with a string of complications.

If you have feet neuropathy, then you may experience sensations such as burning, tingling, or numbness in the feet, as well as finding it difficult to perform any kind of physical activity without experiencing pain.

While there are several causes for neuropathy in feet, this is a common issue, and many people are dealing with nerve pain in this area of the body. One of the most effective ways to manage the pain of peripheral neuropathy is to maintain a regular exercise program.

If you are dealing with pain, this may seem like an impossible task, but there are some simple yet highly effective foot exercises you can perform from the comfort of your home that will reduce pain. In some cases, these exercises can also contribute to reversing neuropathy of feet.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy, which is the way most people refer to peripheral neuropathy, is a form of nerve damage that can be very painful for people to experience.

The most common form of nerve pain from this condition occurs in the hands and feet. Several factors can cause nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy, with the most common being diabetes. When the blood circulation within your nerve cells is impaired by high blood sugar levels, you will experience symptoms of neuropathy.

High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage, which is why a lot of people with diabetes suffer from foot pain or ultimately lose all sensation in this part of their body.

Injury can also be another cause of neuropathy, and this form is much easier to repair. Neuropathy occurs when your nerve health is not how it should be.

The peripheral nervous system connects the body, spinal cord, and brain. It is essentially a major contact center within your body that informs the brain of how to act to external stimuli. Studies suggest that once these nerves become damaged due to injury, high blood pressure, or other factors, the communication is lost.

What Does Neuropathy Feet Feel Like?

There are several major symptoms when it comes to neuropathy, with the main concern being the pain you will experience.

A lot of people with neuropathy experience a lot of pain, even when they are not performing any kind of exercise at all, such as first thing in the morning.

Neuropathy can also feel like:

  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Lack of sensation

These symptoms typically result in other issues, including impaired balance, mobility issues, and an overall lack of activity. While it may seem difficult to increase your activity levels when you are dealing with this kind of foot pain, exercise is the best way to treat foot neuropathy.

Foot Exercises For Neuropathy

The following foot exercises are designed to improve blood flow, which in turn will reduce the pain you experience with neuropathy. The following exercises will strengthen nerves, helping to repair any damage that has been done and alleviate the pain you experience due to neuropathy.

1) Toe Curls

Toe curls is a brilliant exercise to increase blood flow in the feet, ankles, and legs, which can prevent cramping and restore sensitivity. As numbness is a symptom of neuropathy, these simple foot exercises are a brilliant thing to perform regularly to reduce pain.

The more you perform toe curls, the stronger your toes will become, which will gradually increase the signals in your nerve conduction. The stronger the grip of your toes, the better your nerve conduction is, so performing this exercise regularly is a great way to keep track of your progress.

Neuropathy toe curl exercise

How To Perform:

  1. Place a small piece of material, like a towel or cloth, underneath your feet for support
  2. Sit on a chair, ensuring that you have a good posture to prevent damage to your back
  3. Curl your toes, using them to grab and hold the towel underneath you. Make sure that you are not moving your heel during this process
  4. Hold the toe curls for three seconds
  5. Release the towel, lifting your feet and spreading the toes for three seconds
  6. Repeat with the other foot

It is recommended to repeat this exercise around five times with each foot and make sure to practice it daily to see the best results. You can choose to do one foot at a time, or alternate between the two once your set of five-toe curls has been completed.

Once you start to see improvements from this strength training exercise, you can start to use other materials such as trying to pick up a marble with your toes.

2) Foot Tapping Exercise

These exercises can be done using both the feet and hands, making it a good option for those dealing with both forms of neuropathy.

This foot exercise is one of the best for stimulating the nervous system, making it highly effective. You can start these exercises using one foot at a time, but incorporating the hands at the same time is a great way to improve your overall nerve function.

Foot tapping exercise for neuropathy

How To Perform

  1. Start this exercise by sitting down and ensuring you have a good posture
  2. Place your heels flat on the floor and lift your toes
  3. Lower your toes once more, gently tapping on the floor as you would if you were listening to music you enjoy
  4. While performing tapping exercises, move the feet away from each other so that they resemble a 'V'
  5. As you grow stronger throughout this exercise, you can start to make more use of the space around you and push the feet further apart.

One of the best things about these foot exercises is the fact that the tapping is subtle, which means that it can be performed anywhere. No one will notice you tapping, or if they do, it will not be embarrassing or offensive for them to do so.

This means that you should get used to the movement of tapping your toes, as it is a great way to reduce the pain of neuropathy and stimulate the nerves once more.

This is a great relief for pain, as it increases the blood flow in both the hands and feet when performed.

You can incorporate the hands into this exercise by placing your hands on your thighs, allowing the palm to make contact with your leg. Keep your wrist flat against your leg as you tap your fingers according to the movement you are doing.

3) Rolling Foot Massage

This is a great exercise to perform when you feel the tension in the feet, leg, or ankles. It is a great way to wind down after a tough day, as it can be very soothing while also stimulating the somatosensory nervous system.

To do this exercise, you will need a small tennis ball or a golf ball to roll under your foot.

Rolling foot massage with a tennis ball

How To Perform

  1. Roll a tennis ball, or similar small ball, underneath your bare foot and ensure you have a good standing or sitting posture
  2. Roll the ball underneath your feet for 30 seconds at a time, going from one leg to the other to relieve tension
  3. Make sure that you alternate direction on each foot, going clockwise for 30 seconds before going in the other direction for another 30 seconds

You can combine this exercise with toe spreading to further reduce tension and strengthen nerves.

Instead of rolling the ball in the center of your foot, roll it across your toes. Roll the ball from your big toe to your smallest toe and go in the other direction before moving onto the other foot.

You can combine these two aerobic exercises or perform them separately based on your current strength.

4) Heel/Toe Raises

You may find this exercise to be difficult to perform at the beginning of your new regime, especially if you are dealing with a lot of tension. However, the more you practice, the easier it will become, and it is a highly effective aerobic exercise for neuropathy.

It is recommended that you start this exercise by standing and increase the number of repetitions you do with each foot until you get to 30 overtime. Do not worry if you cannot do a lot of raises in the first few weeks of this exercise, as it will become easier over time.

This exercise works best if you perform it a couple of times a day with fewer repetitions on each foot. This will prevent straining the muscles in your feet and ankles while you build up strength.

Heel and toe raises

How To Perform

  1. Stand against a flat surface or sit in a chair ensuring you have the correct upright posture
  2. Lift your heel off the floor while keeping your toes in contact with the ground, so only the back half of your foot is raised
  3. Arch and extend the bridge of your foot fully while in this upright position, allow the center to stretch out
  4. Repeat this process 10 to 15 times for each foot based on your capability

Once you have performed the heel raises, it is time to move onto your toes.

This is a similar movement, except you need to raise your toes from the ground while keeping the heel in contact with the floor. Once the toes are raised, extend your foot completely, ensuring the heel remains in contact with the floor, repeating 10 to 15 times.

5) Pressure Isolation

This is a highly stimulating exercise that can not only treat neuropathy but also improve your posture, balance, and the body's musculoskeletal awareness, which will make other movements easier in time.

It will increase your mobility and improve blood vessel health over time, making walking easier, while also increasing blood flow.

How To Perform

  1. Stand in an upright position, keeping the feet together, your neck and spine straight with your eyes focused before you
  2. As you work your toes, make sure to alter the center of pressure in your feet for a total workout
  3. Start this exercise by pressing down on the big toe of each foot
  4. Follow this by pressing down on the next three toes in sequence, before moving onto your smallest
  5. Once this pressure has been applied to all of your toes, continue to move the pressure towards the arch by pressing the outer ball of your feet
  6. Keep this pressure moving by including the inner ball of your feet and then eventually the heel

Make sure that you apply pressure to your feet in a sequence, going around the outside of the feet before going to the inside after you have done the toes.

Summary

Neuropathy may be painful and seem difficult to treat, but with consistent exercise, a healthy diet, and the correct supplements and vitamins, it's possible to find relief and get your life back.

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