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Exercises for Neuropathy

Updated: Aug 30

** Transcript**

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Hey, Dr. McNamara here coming at you with a Wellness Wednesday, I'm here at McLaughlin Care in the gym. And I wanted to talk a little bit about neuropathy. It's an exercise that you guys can do to reduce the symptoms that you are feeling from the neuropathy. That's the numbness, tingley type of pain that we're dealing with and these exercises will help mitigate those.

As well as taking our April special of this month which is our neuropathy supplement pack. Make sure to check out our supplement store, to take a look at that neuropathy path. Now, neuropathy is what affects our nerves outside the spinal cord and it's pretty much damage to the nerves that happen to the upper limbs or the lower limbs and we see it most commonly in the bottom of the feet. Whether it's due to diabetes, chemotherapy, trauma, alcoholism, or just a vitamin deficiency, the combination of our neuropathy pack with these exercises will definitely help stimulate those nerves to regain their function.

So the first one I want to show you is for the foot and we're going to do nerve gliders and nerve pensioners. I'll start with the nerve glide and what we want to do with the nerve glide is we're going to stretch the nerve while giving it more room within the joint. What we're going to do is hold onto your leg in this position, and then you're going to straighten the leg as you extend your head back. Then you're going to bring your head up and then point the toe. So this is the glider. What we're trying to do is have the nerve glide through our joints of our hip, knee and ankle. So the glider is a little bit better for acute pain and the tensioner is a little bit more aggressive, and this is for more of those chronic patients that have been dealing with this for more than three to four weeks or so.

So the tensioner is going to look the same, except for I'm trying to build tension in the nerve so i'm going to hold that flexed head and extended foot to get the most tension on that sciatic nerve all the way down to where it splits for the tibial nerve. So this one's going to look like this and this one really lights up the back of the leg. I want you to be really careful doing this one and don't do it if you're in an acute stage of the neuropathy.

Now the next would be for the upper limb. Now for the upper limb, we're going to want to do a tensor on the median nerve, which is going to go through that carpal tunnel and innovate the fingers and the rest of the hand. So to do this one, I'll start with the glider again, for more acute patients, you're going to want to go with the wrist and the head, have them bend the same direction, just like that. So this will be for the left side. This is the glider.

Now for the tensioner, I'm going to want to build that tension. So I want to keep the hand extended and I want to have the head away from the wrist as much as possible. So this one is similar but slightly different. I'm building tension on that nerve and this is just going to free up some space, take off some of that pressure on that. So we can start feeling a little bit better and that nerve can start healing itself.

So that's the nerve gliding and nerve tensioner. The last thing I want you guys to work on, and this is mainly for the people with the peripheral neuropathy in the lower extremities, do some balance training. If you can just walk up, start on a flat surface, have something next to you in case you feel like you're going to fall because we don't want to hurt ourselves falling, and just start with some simple balance work balancing on one foot, do both sides. And then as you get better, you can start making the surface a little bit uneven until you get really good. You can start some wobble board practice and just work on training your balance to really wake up those nerves and give the brain feedback on what's going on, proprioceptively in that area.

So that's all I got for you. That's our Wellness Wednesday, Dr. McNamara out.

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