November 12, 2021
Finding the right activity level can be difficult for someone living with Charcot. This condition causes weakening of the bones, joints, and soft tissues of the foot or ankle over time. While living with Charcot can be unpredictable, it’s important to keep your body moving regularly to improve your overall health and wellness. Regular movement can help increase blood flow to the legs and feet, preventing severe complications that could result in amputation.
A good activity routine is an important part of staying healthy, but people living with Charcot and neuropathy must take special care to ensure they are getting the most out of their activity. Here are 4 tips for preventing damage to your feet while exercising with Charcot.
Neuropathy, one of the main causes of Charcot, causes numbness and weakening that can make it difficult to safely exercise. It may be hard to feel your legs or feet, making some exercises hard to complete or even dangerous.
While exercising may be a bit more challenging for you, there are significant benefits to exercising regularly. Studies show that regular exercise can slow the progression of nerve damage, reducing the risk for diabetic foot ulcers and other complications.
Low-impact exercises are a great way for people with Charcot to begin moving. Some of the best options include:
Walking: Walking is a great way to enjoy the fresh air and scenery—while improving your overall health and wellbeing. Just 30-minutes of walking a day can help raise your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. If 30-minutes is too much, break up that time into smaller walks throughout the day. You can also invest in a treadmill or use one at a local fitness center.
Cycling: Whether riding outside or using a stationary bike, cycling can be a great exercise option. You can customize your bike and seat for the most comfortable experience. Those who can’t get out of the house easily or live in an area where biking is difficult can take advantage of purchasing a stationary bike. Joining a local fitness center is another option.
Swimming: Swimming takes the pressure off your joints and bones, which can be beneficial for those with Charcot or diabetic neuropathy. This is an excellent way to build endurance while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Yoga: A great option for those who tire easily, yoga can help increase your heart rate and improve strength and flexibility. Studies also show it’s great for relieving anxiety and managing stress.
Because it may be difficult to feel the pain sensations caused by blisters and diabetic foot ulcers, inspecting your feet after each exercise session is crucial. Make it a habit to remove your shoes and socks to check for blisters, cuts, swelling, redness, or signs of infection.
If your feet have become damp with sweat, make sure to gently clean them in lukewarm water. It’s also important to dry them carefully, spending extra time focusing on the area between the toes. Moisture can get trapped in the cracks of the feet, putting you at higher risk for diabetic foot ulcers or infection. Take the time to ensure your feet are completely dry before replacing your shoes and socks.
It’s important to put clean socks on after cleaning your feet, as this will help reduce bacteria buildup and prevent complications. If you ever notice an area of concern, be sure to call your doctor to schedule an inspection of your feet.
Choosing the right footwear can be one of the best ways to protect your feet from injury. It’s a good idea to speak with your podiatrist about what shoes are best for your individual situation. They may suggest that you be fitted for custom orthotic shoes or insoles to prevent rubbing and injury.
More tips for choosing the best shoe for exercising with Charcot include:
Because neuropathy makes it hard to feel pain and discomfort, it can be easy for people with Charcot to unknowingly overdo it. Stretch before and after each workout to reduce the chance of straining a muscle and prevent muscle tightness.
If you feel unsteady at any time, sit down and rest immediately. It’s important to recognize signs of fatigue and not to push yourself. If balance becomes a regular concern, consider changing your exercise routine to include stationary exercise. Your body is unique, and determining the best workout for you may take some time.
Be sure to discuss your plans to exercise with your doctor. For some, remote patient monitoring (RPM) with Siren Socks can help ensure your diabetes and neuropathy are controlled. Siren Socks track your foot temperature and recognize inflammation at the onset. Trained nurses continuously monitor this data and coordinate care with your doctor when signs of inflammation or injury are detected. This reduces the risk of long-term injury associated with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, and Charcot.
Temperature monitoring helps improve outcomes related to diabetic foot ulcers. Don’t take our word for it. Talk to your doctor about prescribing Siren Socks today! Find a Siren-certified provider here.
Siren Socks are smart socks that help detect potential issues with your feet. Siren Socks are an FDA-registered Class I medical device and are designed for people living with diabetes and neuropathy. The socks measure your foot temperature. Temperature monitoring has been shown to help reduce the number of diabetic foot ulcers in multiple clinical studies over the past 20 years and is considered the gold standard in diabetic foot care. The information from the socks is monitored by licensed nurses who contact you regularly to check on your health and the status of your feet. Your doctor reviews any issues that arise and determine if a clinic visit is necessary. Siren Socks are covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and many private insurance plans. Interested patients can find a Certified Siren Provider near them and begin the enrollment process by clickinghere.