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Exercises for Neuropathy of the Feet

author image Denise Stern
Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.
Exercises for Neuropathy of the Feet
Foot exercises may help relieve symptoms of neuropathy. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Neuropathy is nerve damage that can result in pain, numbness or tingling. Injury or vitamin deficiencies usually cause this condition. According to MayoClinic.com, a number of medical conditions, including diabetes, may lead to foot neuropathy. Exercise can help reduce pain from this condition.

Range of Motion

Range of motion exercises help stimulate nerve conduction and circulation to affected areas. Range of motion exercises are performed at joints. For example, a range of motion exercise for the foot will rotate the ankle joint. Sitting in a chair, lift the affected foot and circle in a clockwise motion, then a counterclockwise motion. Repeat this cycling of the joint between five and 10 times in each direction.

Low-Impact Exercises

Walking, stationary bicycling and swimming are low-impact exercises that can help reduce complications and pain of foot neuropathy, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and can increase muscle strength and coordination. When walking, keep the pelvis tucked slightly under and the lower abdominal muscles pulled in toward the base of the spine. Walk short distances at first, gradually increasing distance and duration. When biking or swimming, use full ankle joint function, working the joint to help prevent or reduce stiffness and pain.

Toe Tapping Exercises

Sit in a chair with your heels on the floor. Your feet can be touching or separated about hips-distance apart. Lift the toes of your feet off the floor, then lower them, creating a tapping motion. Repeat this exercise between 15 and 20 times. Another variation is to place your heels together, then lift your toes off the floor as high as you can. Turn your feet outward, so that you create a "V" shape with your heels still touching the floor. Touch your toes to the floor, then lift them again, bring them together, and touch them to the floor once more. Repeat this sequence between five and 10 times.

Sitting Leg Pointers

Sit in a chair with your back straight, knees together. Lift your right foot off the floor, straightening your right knee at the same time. Point your toes into the distance. Holding the leg out straight, point your toes toward your body in a deep flex. Circle your ankle joint clockwise, then counterclockwise five times. Lower your right foot to the floor and repeat the exercise with your left foot.

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