Exercise can be difficult for people with nerve damage or foot pain due to diabetes.
It is important to not ignore pain, fall risks, and blisters. However, nerve damage from diabetes does not have to be permanent, according to Jacquelyn Draxler Rauth , a family medicine and cardiology nurse practitioner.
Diabetes and nerve damage:
Rauth stated that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to diabetic neuropathy. This is a form of nerve damage that causes pain, tingling, or numbness in your feet and legs.
You may be unable to safely and comfortably participate in certain types of exercise if you have nerve damage.
Safety tips for exercising
It’s possible to safely exercise if you have nerve damage from diabetes.
These are some tips that will help you move forward.
- Begin slowly, with only five to ten minutes of exercise. You must ensure that you are able to do the exercise you plan and that you feel safe.
- You should exercise on an even surface. Do not get tripped over by uneven surfaces or obstacles that you cannot feel with your feet.
- Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
- You can do low-impact activities such as water aerobics, stationary recumbent biking or strength training for your upper body.
- To control blood sugar, exercise at the same time every day.
- Get a buddy to help you when you are hurt or your blood sugar drops.
- Before and after you exercise, check your blood sugar levels. Bring water and snacks to your workout.
- Check your feet after you exercise for sores or blisters.
Diabetes control through exercise
Rauth stated that daily exercise helps to control diabetes by controlling blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Rauth stated that exercise also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke or heart attack.
Patients with diabetes under control are less likely to have foot and leg problems.
Exercise can also increase blood flow to the feet, legs, and feet, which helps reduce numbness or pain.
Rauth stated that increased circulation from exercise reduces the risk of nerve damage due to diabetes.
She said that a higher blood sugar level and a lack of exercise can cause blood vessel damage as well as permanent nerve damage.