Today I’d like to recommend to you all 5 ways to keep moving when you have neuropathy! This also applies to anyone who is overweight from steroids like me or perhaps a thyroid problem either way a little exercise never hurt so as long as you can physically manage it why not.I didn’t even know I had neuropathy until my neuromuscular team reluctantly took a biopsy thinking they’d find nothing and suprise suprise I had small fiber non length dependent neuropathy, I really hated the process of getting from my wheelchair to my feet again but it was worth it because now I only need it a few days a week. I want to share my small success with my audience because I figure some of you might be in wheelchairs or using walkers and you deserve a break.
- Try wearing ankle weights starting with your own body weight and then moving up to 2.5lb ankle weights and moving up from there. That way even whilst you watch TV you can do the occasional leg raise to keep you stimulated and burning calories so you aren’t just dormant all day long. Along with this I recommend doing the same with your arms raise them as far as they will go and slowly move up to those cheap, small rubberized dumbbells. Remember when on steroids like prednisone you can’t really help but gain weight so why not combat it and be ready, IVIG for neuropathy itself also makes you weak in my experience so I like to workout until the day of and then when I do get the two day infusion take a few days to a week to relax.
- Stay hydrated to avoid cramps many of you including me also do this for migraines already as a precaution for that and our cluster headaches but why not avoid cramps at the same time. A cramp will just cause pain you can’t do anything about when you have bad neuropathy so please just drink vitamin water and make sure you have to urinate fairly often throughout the day it’s healthy for you. I know this is a basic top but it’s one I always try to include in these types of articles because it’s absolutely crucial to your health simple dehydration can land you in the hospital with just that or heat stroke too in the summer days like this. Avoid all of that by carrying around a military surplus canteen if you work outdoor keep it in the shade too so your water is slightly cool, if your biking use one of those camel backpacks that have small 1-2 liter bladders and space for some money to refill it and/or get something to eat along the way or at your destination to fuel you. The more small meals you eat a day the faster your metabolism will be you just need to let your body digest and be active in between meals.
- Try kayaking in your local bay or lake to get upper body strength back and build up the muscle you’ve lost whilst ill. Trust me it’s no joke going a few miles in one of those things especially if you’re in the bay going against the current and the wind. That rotating motion will really help you break up scar tissue in your shoulder area and elbows. Not to mention it’ll strengthen your hands and wrists which is often a big problem amongst my fellow neuropathy patients. You can even do this in certain pools and hot tubs if you request it and get a set of rowing bars to use in the water to reduce the resistance lessening the load on your joints making life easier on those with neuromuscular disorders of all sorts.
- Do physical therapy and learn how to stretch properly. Not to mention learning countless exercises you can do with resistance bands that they typically provide to you. They will teach you to work on getting away from using a walker and/or wheelchair and whill often track your results and tell you exactly how you’re doing. My physical therapist is like family and we often discuss her family or my own, on occasion each others interests as I work out slowly. It is quite a painful process getting to be strong enough to walk properly again but I will get there. I already managed to walk up the stairs one day with only the use of a railing and no cane so I certainly am getting stronger myself that’s why O am recommending these methods I’ve tried them all myself and they work.
- Aquatic therapy is the last thing I’d recommend though you might want to try it first on your list if you have the money to spend or can find a local gym or rehab center with tidalfits or swim spas, even a pool works but something with an adjustable current such as the Artesian TidalFit I am getting to fight my weight gain and neuropathy are optimal. I believe only the Michael Phelps swim spa’s for which you pay extra for every little thing, and the tidalfit by Artesian are the only two main competitors. In fact the reason I chose tidalfit because with all the sports equipment the swim spa would’ve been over forty thousand dollars, the tidalfit comes with all of that standard and costs approximately twenty thousand with taxes and all and then another two thousand for a master electrician to run the line for it. I am lucky to be able to afford such a machine and am doubly excited to begin using it daily like I used to work with weight so I can get back in shape. The salesmen said this thing’s motor goes from current level 1 to 100 which means it can create such a strong current even the most advanced swimmers would have difficulty so I plan to sculpt my body utilizing this aquatic exercise technique. I encourage you to do the same especially if you are autoimmune why risk catching something from the people at the gym when you can be swimming in a 14ft pool at home or having a therapist come over to help you exercise and stretch your sore muscles.
Whatever you choose to do never give up on your dream of not needing assistance to walk, lift weights, or even run again. Heck I have neuropathy and I plan on coming back physically in a big way, I want to show people that a wheelchair and walker can be temporary whether you’re going through chemotherapy, have a terminal illness, or can’t walk every day at the moment that’s okay. The point is to have hope and some day you will take that first unaided step if you have the willpower! We have amazing technology to assist those with trouble walking moving along in production and if you are passionate I’m sure you could work your way into that niche testing various assistance devices. People will admire your attitude, your bravery, and pride in who you are, that you aren’t ashamed of yourself just because you cannot walk as easily as the rest of the people on this planet. But you made a choice a choice to stand up some day and defy everyone’s expectations, join me in defying people’s expectations of you. Lets join hands and push onwards through this rough life together. Some people don’t cherish what they have, they take it for granted, one thing our chronic illness gives us is a mature perspective on that and we can be thankful that we’re mature enough to be appreciative of all the aid we get and the research being done in our favour.