Chronic neuropathy pain can be a debilitating condition for many, but relief is possible. Recently, WOOD TV's EightWest featured our very own Dr. Karen May during a...
Neuropathy can have a profound effect on your life, particularly when it affects the feet. For individuals with neuropathy, something as simple as choosing the right footwear or using a walker can significantly impact their overall well-being and mobility. Let’s delve deeper into how shoes and walkers play a pivotal role in your neuropathy healing journey.
Why proper footwear matters for neuropathy patients
One of the primary concerns for neuropathy patients is the loss of sensation in the feet. This numbness can make it difficult to detect injuries, pressure sores, or even foreign objects inside the shoe. Properly fitted shoes can minimize the risk of foot trauma by ensuring minimal friction and pressure on the feet.
When shopping for footwear, look for the following features:
- Support and stability: Shoes that provide good arch support and have a cushioned sole can absorb shock and help distribute your weight evenly. This not only provides comfort but also aids in preventing further foot problems.
- Protection from external factors: If you have neuropathy, you’re more susceptible to temperature changes because nerve damage can make it hard to sense extreme heat or cold. Shoes made of breathable materials can help regulate temperature, protecting the feet from cold and preventing excessive sweating that can lead to fungal infections.
- Adjustability: Shoes with laces or adjustable straps can be particularly beneficial, as they allow you to achieve a snug fit without putting too much pressure on any particular part of your foot.
What to look for in a walker when you have neuropathy
Walkers are important for neuropathy patients for several reasons, but most importantly, for safety. I strongly recommend that you get training on how to use a walker or cane appropriately from the place you purchased it from or your doctors office.
Here are some key things to look for in a new walker:
- Improved balance: Neuropathy can often lead to balance issues. Walkers provide that extra support, making it easier for patients to move around with confidence. By reducing the risk of falls, walkers play a crucial role in preventing injuries.
- Enhanced mobility: For those with severe neuropathy, walking without support can be a daunting — and dangerous — task. Walkers empower you to maintain independence and continue to perform your daily activities.
- Safety: Many walkers are equipped with features such as brakes or seats. These additions cater to the unique needs of neuropathy patients, ensuring you have the support you need when you’re on the move and a place to rest when fatigue sets in.
- Posture support: Neuropathy can sometimes affect the way a person walks. A walker can aid in ensuring a more upright posture, reducing strain on the back and other parts of the body, which can also lead to a better night’s sleep!
- Correct Height: Make certain you can stand upright while holding onto the grab bars. If you are hunched or shoulders are rounded over, it will put undue pressure and strain on your upper back and arms and make it difficult to use. There are walkers that are 100% upright, with arms rests at your arm level so you can remain fully upright.
For neuropathy patients, the right pair of shoes and the decision to use a walker can be life-changing. Both provide not only physical support and protection but also a boost in confidence. They act as tools that allow individuals to reclaim their independence and navigate the world despite their condition.
If you’re suffering from neuropathy, you’re not alone, and relief is possible. Whether you choose to go it alone or work with the support of those who have been there, taking a holistic approach to healing can help reverse your neuropathy and get you back to feeling like the best version of yourself.