Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The following suggestions can help you manage peripheral neuropathy:

  • Take care of your feet, especially if you have diabetes. Check your feet daily for signs of blisters, cuts or calluses. Tight shoes and socks can worsen pain and tingling and may lead to sores that won't heal. Wear soft, loose cotton socks and padded shoes. You can use a semicircular hoop, which is available in medical supply stores, to keep bedcovers off hot or sensitive feet.
  • Exercise. Ask your doctor about an exercise routine that's right for you. Regular exercise, such as walking three times a week, may reduce neuropathy pain, improve your muscle strength and help control blood sugar levels.

    Yoga and tai chi also have been shown to have many benefits, such as helping to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and improving neuropathy pain.

  • Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking can affect circulation, increasing the risk of foot problems and other neuropathy complications.
  • Eat healthy meals. If you're at high risk of neuropathy or have a chronic medical condition, healthy eating is especially important to ensure that you get essential vitamins and minerals. Emphasize low-fat meats and dairy products and include lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may worsen your peripheral neuropathy.
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes, it's important that you monitor your blood glucose levels. Keeping your blood glucose under control may help improve your neuropathy.
  • Massage your hands and feet, or have someone massage them for you. Massage helps improve circulation, stimulates nerves and may temporarily relieve pain.
  • Avoid prolonged pressure. Don't keep your knees crossed or lean on your elbows for long periods of time. Doing so may cause new nerve damage.
Aug. 13, 2013