5 Easy Foot Exercises For Neuropathy To Do At Home

The number one cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. As your blood sugar level shoots up, the nerve connection from and to the brain is disrupted. As the organs stop receiving signals, your muscles weaken and cramp, which causes pain.

According to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, exercise is extremely effective for diabetics with peripheral neuropathy. 17 participants with diabetic peripheral neuropath took part in the study.

A strength training and aerobic exercise program was created, which lasted for 10 weeks. The result was measured by recording pain levels and through a questionnaire. It was revealed that their nerve fiber branching had significantly improved.

This speaks volumes about the importance of exercise. Moreover, for diabetics, exercise offers many benefits, which include:

  • It lowers blood sugar level and helps reduce inflammation in the body
  • It reverses damage to the blood vessels, which increases blood flow in the hands and feet
  • It supplies the peripheral areas with more oxygen and blood, which improves nerve cell function and reduces discomfort and pain associated with neuropathy

Remember — exercise does not cure neuropathy. It only helps you to deal with the pain and reduce its severity. Along with a healthy diet and neuropathy supplements, exercise gives you a better chance of treating your nerve pain for good.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how neuropathy pain sets in, let’s have a look at some of the easiest foot exercises that you can do at home:

1. Tap Your Toes

A woman doing toe tapping exercise

Do you tap your toes in joy when listening to your favorite music? Well, do some of that more and you will feel much better. Think of it as dancing discreetly with just your toes. The good news is that you can perform this exercise anywhere, even at social gatherings.

Here’s how to do this exercise:

  • Sit in a chair and place your feet flat on the ground (you can also do this exercise standing)
  • Simply lift your toes up and then down back (do at least twenty rounds and keep the toe tapping in sync with the other foot)

Let’s change things up a little:

  • Place your feet together on the ground so that they are touching together
  • Let the heels stay connected and open the toes to form a “V”
  • Now, tap your toes and maintain this movement by opening and closing your feet

This additional movement improves blood flow and lends flexibility, which you might have lost due to peripheral neuropathy.

2. Range of Motion – Ankle Rotation

Ankle rotation exercise for neuropathy

Just like tapping toes, this exercise is also pretty easy and can be done anywhere. If you have reduced mobility and joint pain, then this exercise is great to restore movement. It not only increases the nerve’s condition but also blood, which allows you to find relief from pain.

Here’s how to do this exercise:

  • Sit down comfortably in a chair or a sofa
  • Lift one foot and rotate it ten times: 5 clockwise and 5 counter-clockwise
  • If you find any resistance then so small rounds

This exercise strengthens the muscles, connects tissues and loosens the joints. Try doing it at least 5 times a day.

3. Seated Hamstring Stretch

A man doing seated hamstring stretch

Let’s kick things up a notch. Up till now we were limiting our exercise to the feet. In order to find out if your leg can handle the stretch and not shoot pain towards your toes, do the seated hamstring stretch.

Here’s how to do this exercise:

  • Sit on a chair and keep your back straight
  • Bring your knees together, keep your feet on the ground and take a deep breath
  • Lift one of your foot and straighten out the knee (stretch as far as you can)
  • Once your leg is completely straight, point the toes away from you
  • Hold for 15 seconds and take deep breaths in the mean time
  • Repeat this exercise 3 times on each leg, at least twice a day

4. Plantarfascia Stretch

A woman doing plantarfascia stretch while sitting on a gym mat

This exercise improves movement in the toes and allows you to find out how far the peripheral neuropathy goes. Take out some time for your busy routine and find a quiet corner to focus.

Here’s how to do this exercise:

There are two ways you can do this exercise: sitting and standing.

Sitting

  • Sit down on a mat with your legs stretched in front you
  • Try to reach your toes with your hands (it’s alright if your back isn’t straight. The focus here is the toes)
  • Cover your toes with your palm and then stretch them towards you

Standing

  • Stand in front of a door frame and place your heel close to it (your feet should be flush with the frame)
  • Slowly slide back your foot and press your toes against the frame
  • To feel the stretch in your toes, bend your knee and put some pressure
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds
  • Repeat this exercise 3 times on each foot, at least twice a day

5. Seated Dorsiflexion

A doing seated dorsiflexion toe lifts

The dorsiflexion movement lends more flexibility to the foot. They key here is to bring your foot closer to the shin.

Here’s how to do this exercise:

  • Sit in a chair and place your feet on the floor
  • Scoot your hips over to the edge and bring your feet closer to your body
  • Keep the heels to the ground and try to lift up your toes, as well as the ankles high
  • Lower them down slowly and now try to raise your heel in the same manner by keep your toes to the ground
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds
  • Repeat this exercise 3 times on each foot, at least twice a day

Final Thoughts

There you have it — five easy exercise for your feet. Try doing all these exercises at least once in the day or at night. Start small by making yourself familiar with one exercise and then proceed to the next.

In addition to regular exercises, you may also want to consider taking supplements designed for nerve health in order to support your nerves with the right nutrients.