During a physical therapy examination, your therapist will perform tests to rule in or rule out causes of your pain, no matter what body part is bothering you. There are dozens of neuropathy special tests, but here are a few that you can perform on yourself at home.
A common sign and symptom of neuropathy is loss or diminished sensation. A quick and easy way to test this at home is touching the 1st, 3rd and 5th toes of both feet with your index finger. This can be performed by either you or a family member.
The test is positive for diminished sensitivity if you cannot feel the foot being touched or it is different from the unaffected side.
For this test you will need a firm chair, ideally without armrests, a cone or similar object, and a stopwatch. Place the chair so there is ample open space in front of the chair. From the chair, measure 10 feet in front of the chair and place the cone in that spot.
The test will start with you sitting in the chair. You will time how long it takes you to stand up from the chair, walk around the cone and back to the chair, and return to sitting. A time greater than 13.5 seconds indicates an increased risk for falls.
Start by standing near a wall or sturdy object in case you must catch yourself. When ready, place your arms across your chest, focus your eyes on a spot on the wall in front of you, and raise one leg off the ground.
Maintain your balance as long as possible up to 45 seconds without uncrossing your arms, shifting the stance leg, or moving the raised leg excessively. Repeat the test with eyes closed as well, this will be significantly more difficult. Take the best of 3 attempts as your final score.
Below are the age based norms for balance with eyes open and eyes closed:
|Eyes Open||40 sec||37 sec||27 sec||15 sec||6 sec|
|Eyes Closed||7 sec||5 sec||3 sec||2 sec||1 sec|