Peripheral Neuropathy - Stretching and Exercise
Exercise and stretching help most things, and peripheral neuropathy is no exception. I know that stretching will give me some relief when other things have failed. PN also throws off my gait and even negatively impacts how I sit, and stretching helps reset things as well as providing near-immediate pain relief.
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Thanks for posting Jim. Exercise is key to feeling better and staying mobile. I recently found some hand exercises that I use for my arthritis/PMR in my hands – http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/multimedia/arthritis/sls-20076952?s=5
I posting a message to this older thread to bump it back to the top of the discussion board in the Neuropathy group. What exercise and stretching do you do to help alleviate the pain and numbness of peripheral neuropathy?
Hi Colleen (@colleenyoung), I ride a recumbent exercise bike 30 minutes in the morning when I first get up (4 to 5 days a week) to get my legs and joints limber. Then during my breaks during the day I have an exercise resistance band I use for upper body stretching of the arms and shoulders. I probably don’t do the bands as often as I should.
@oldkarl, @anduarto, @gman007, @ujeeniack, @parus, @jersey, @jimhd, @kevinking, @artscaping, @venki do you have any exercise or stretching that helps you alleviate the pain and numbness of peripheral neuropathy?
I go to the gym every day that I can – which is usually 5 days a week.
I do believe exercise helps, in many ways. My neuropathy produces weakness, so exercise is not particularly fun, but it does help.
No particular exercise. Good luck.
@colleenyoung Sorry, Colleen, but the more I exercise, the weaker I become. I have AL, and the fibrils get into any bodily tissues, pulling and pushing them apart. The heart begins to fail from stiffness, the nerves from the brain to the heart get shorted out so the heart does not beat. The Urethra stiffens from the invasion, as does the liver and the prostate. PN multiplies in severity, and vision becomes blurred. And the cerebellum cortex fills with dead mis-folded protein. No, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all, especially if your have Amy in any form. AL, MM, WG, , hATTRwt, AGel, ACys, etc.Cardiac, pancreatic, pulmonary, etc.
OldKarl, thank you for that slap of reality! You’re so right that exercise is not a one-size-fits-all solution, however I would’ve thought some form of movement would usually provide benefit. Clearly I am wrong. One needs to be clear what is right for them. Thanks for setting me straight.
I’ve never been one to exercise, and the pain in my feet has kept me from walking. But I’ve been feeling better lately, and have been walking more in spite of the pain. I’m working on the psychological component of pain, using the ACT therapy model. I’ve only been trying it for a week, so I don’t have enough experience to make any conclusions.
Hi Jim (@jimhd) – I had never heard of the ACT therapy model so had to Google it. Interesting reading about it. I don’t have pain in the feet/legs but my lower back keeps me from walking much. I don’t mind stores so much if I can push a cart for support. Had a long walk from the parking ramp up to a room at St. Mary’s Hospital to see a friend a few weeks ago and was not doing real great by the time I got back to the car. I know I need to walk more but it’s my least favorite thing to do. I can go short distances with no problem but I have trouble if I stand too long, sit too long or have to walk too far.
Would be interested to hear how it goes for you.
For anyone interested ACT stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Here is how it is defined on https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/act.htm
“ACT differs from CBT in that instead of challenging distressing thoughts by looking for evidence and coming up with a more rational response (CBT), in ACT, the thought is accepted as a thought, e.g. “I’m having the thought that this boat is going to sink”, and then defused using a variety of techniques, which may include mindfulness, metaphors and language. ACT uses three broad categories of techniques: mindfulness, including being present in the moment and defusion techniques; acceptance; and commitment to values-based living.”
Good morning. I am responding to John Bishop’s request about exercise and peripheral neuropathy. Most of us have led active lives that include physical activity and regular exercise. My annual 50 mile inn to inn walks in Europe, the US and Canada were total peak experiences. The Grand Canyon, the Ring of Kerry, the Monterrey Bay (mostly in sand) top a long list of places I have walked with my walking group. I loved every minute of the training, the preparation and the total experience. Now I am lucky to walk a block or two and then I usually pay the price the next day when the chronic myofascial pain begins on top of the peripheral neuropathy. I think that the first thing we need to do is to acknowledge and grieve for this loss of activity potential which came way too suddenly and way too soon even for those of us who are in the aging years. Exploring the grieving process with your CBT, ACT, or other support professional may be helpful. The next challenge comes when we attempt to find a replacement for our loss. There are lots of hours in the day that need to be filled with rewarding and healthy activities.
Here is what works reasonably well for me. Just think…..Keep Moving! How about dance? How about pickleball instead of tennis? How about a 30 minute walk instead of a 3 hour hike? I requested a personal set of Yoga poses based upon my physical abilities from my Yoga teacher. I also learned that Yoga is a practice that needs to be a ritual to receive the most benefit and that doesn’t mean once a week…it means every day at the same time if at all possible. In one pose I raise my legs up ….called legs up the wall…..and point and flex my feet. In the next pose I turn my ankles several times in one direction and then the reverse. Just this one pose and its options has kept the numbness in my feet and ankles to a minimum. And I rarely have pain or discomfort any more in my feet. The stretches and twists in my program are held for six breaths to build suppleness. The strength poses are done very slowly to build up muscle tone. I add a quick body scan in shavasana to relax ankles, knees, jaw, neck, etc. And then I do 8 – 10 guided meditations for that mind/body connection..
At this point I have found that if for some reason I miss my “Keep Moving” routine, my day just doesn’t go as well and I don’t feel as positive….sort of out of sync.
I hope this inspires some of you to just “Keep Moving.” I am happy to share whatever might be helpful from my experience. Be joyful!