There are hundreds of exercises we could have put in this section. Depending on what is causing your neuropathy, some of these exercises might help and some might not. It is important to realize that if any of these exercises are increasing your pain, you should not do them. Also, prescribing exercise is much like prescribing medication. The type of exercise and amount of exercise is very important. Without a full examination by one of our physical therapists at Robbins Rehabilitation West, it’s difficult to prescribe exercises that will take away your pain. The exercises below were selected to help your neuropathy, no matter what the cause is, but it is only a “best guess” and not an actual prescription based on an examination.
Sit to Stand
Start by sitting in a firm chair, ideally without armrest. Scoot towards the edge of the chair and bring your feet underneath you. Lean your shoulders forward and stand up. Try to stand up without using your arms to help you! If you aren’t able to stand up without using your arm, try adding a pillow under you to make the chair a little higher, just make sure the pillow won’t slide out from under you as you stand up and sit down.
As you stand up, try to keep your knees from coming together as this can cause knee pain. As you sit down, allow your shoulders to come forward as your bottom goes back and focus on slowly lowering back down to the chair and avoid plopping down.
Suggested Program: Repeat 10 times then take a break and repeat 10 more times. Do this once per day.
Start by standing up at a countertop with your feet flat on the floor. Without using your hands to push up from the counter, slowly lift your heels off the ground as high as you can go. Hold for suggested time at the top and then slowly lower your heels back down to the ground so they are flat and at your starting position.
Suggested Program: Repeat 10 times and then take a break a repeat 10 more times. Do this once per day.
Single Leg Balance
Stand in front of a countertop or sturdy table. Pick which leg you want to start with and shift your weight over to that side and lift the other foot from the ground. It doesn’t matter how high you lift your foot off the ground, as long as it is no longer touching. Use your hands on your countertop as much as you need to for safety but as little as possible. If you aren’t able to stand on one foot keep your hands on the countertop or table and start balancing on one foot with the assistance of your hands.
As that gets easier, only use hand, then finger tips, then just a few fingers, and so on until you’re able to keep your balance without using your hands for assistance. It’s okay to let your other foot tap the ground as needed to catch your balance. Hold your balance for 30 seconds then switch to the other foot.
Suggested Program: Hold your balance for 30 seconds on each foot, repeating 3 times on each side. Do this once per day. If this gets easy for you and you can perform without holding onto anything – stand on an uneven surface such as a pillow or cushion for added challenge.