Tuesday 31 May 2011

Exercise and neuropathy

It seems almost too obvious to say that you should get some physiotherapy advice regarding exercise to help your neuropathy problems but it's not that easy. First of all, you have to be sure that the physiotherapist understands exactly what your problems are and doesn't advise exercises that will make things worse. That means good communication between yourself and all your medical advisers.

If you have more than one problem (for instance neuropathy and HIV), you already have at least two people to deal with; if you have other conditions as well, then it becomes very important that someone takes an holistic overview and distributes the right information to all concerned and that is never an automatic process, however logical you might think it is. Some one must be able to tell you if it is wise to do this that or the other, especially regarding your health. The GP is the obvious central point if he/she is willing.
Another problem is the self-discipline required to exercise regularly because one or two sessions will never achieve anything - you need a well constructed regime in order to feel the benefits after a period of time. If you're in pain, have had a bad night, are depressed, or just plain can't be bothered, then the last thing you want to do, are your exercises but it's worth the effort, not only for the body but for the mind too.
For all those reasons, videos like this one seem to me to be very helpful. Simple exercises that can be carried out at home, or at work, while you're doing something else - not too overwhelming and likely to bring results after a few weeks. Even if they don't, you know that they can't do you any harm and you'll at least have the feeling that you've tried. If more such videos were made available by physiotherapists or doctors, especially for older people, I think the success rates would justify the effort. After all, with a Youtube account and a webcam on your pc, you really can reach into people's homes and help people without the need for an appointment. Of course, someone will ask who's going to pay for it etc etc and then it won't happen. The days of free help for other people are long gone I'm afraid.

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