If you have foot neuropathy, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of falling. In this article, we will talk about some safety tips for foot neuropathy.
Tip: Proper Footwear
One thing you can do is to make sure you have proper footwear. Sometimes with normal aging the feet get bigger than they used to be! You may need a wide shoe or a half size larger as you are getting older. Make sure that you get your feet measured every time you get new shoes.
Another safety tip for foot neuropathy is to get shoes that are firmly fastened to your feet and have a thin, non-skid sole. There are special types of footwear that the podiatrist may recommend for you, like diabetic shoes.
The key with footwear is to make sure you get the correct size first and foremost!
Tip: Foot Inspection
Another thing you may need to learn how to do if you have foot neuropathy is to inspect your feet for sores, blisters, scrapes, and cuts.
Often with foot neuropathy, you cannot feel your feet or the sensation is distorted. When this happens, you could actually have a blister, a burn, a hot spot, skin tear, ulcer on your feet, and you just cannot feel it. Some people even get foreign objects like staples or thumbtacks stuck in the bottom of their feet!
It is important to make sure your feet are not injured. If you are not feeling your feet due to foot neuropathy, you could get a cut or other injury that you may not feel. If that cut gets infected, you may not even know you have it until it starts to smell! When this happens, it’s a very serious infection.
A serious foot ulcer or infection can cause some people with foot neuropathy to lose their toes or part of their leg, so prevention is key!
I suggest inspecting your feet with a mirror everyday. This is important safety tip for foot neuropathy.
If you are not sure how to inspect your feet, your health provider can teach you. A Diabetes Educator may also be able to help you learn how to perform a foot inspection.
Another safety tip for foot neuropathy is to exercise! This is recommended to hep increase blood flow to help with foot neuropathy.
If you are not sure what kind of exercise is good for you, you can ask your doctor to refer you to physical therapy. Physical therapists are basically experts in exercise, for people who aren’t sure what exactly is the right exercise for them to do because of their health and medical conditions.
You can get physical therapy at an outpatient physical therapy clinic, a hospital or a rehab facility. You can even have a home health physical therapist come to your home. Sometimes assisted living and senior living facilities even have physical therapists on site.
So, if you’re not sure what exercise is good for you for your foot neuropathy, as your doctor. If your doctor can’t give you a clear suggestion, perhaps requesting a referral to physical therapy is your next step.
Dr. Bell’s Foot Therapy Program
If you are interested in at-home an online course to complement your treatment plan, I have a program called “Foot Therapy Program for Fall Prevention.” This online course is designed for people with foot neuropathy, to reduce feelings of unsteadiness with walking and hopefully increase foot sensation.
I developed this program because I have met so many people that have this problem and don’t have any options to help with it!
This innovative online program would be for somebody who is:
- shuffling their feet or feeling off balance when they walk
- having uncomfortable feelings in their feet like burning hot, cold, prickling, or numbness
- unsteady walking in the dark, and on soft or uneven surfaces
- having repeated falls
The online course also includes more safety tips for foot neuropathy.
To learn more and to purchase this program to do on your own at home, check it out on my website at Foot Therapy Program for Fall Prevention.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.