Peripheral Neuropathy Relief in the Feet & Legs

Peripheral neuropathy is basically when you have damage to your peripheral nerves from either a trauma or disease. This can cause your hands and/or feet become numb and tingly. I’ll focus on the feet/legs for this video. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at:

Peripheral neuropathy can be caused from diabetes, medications, or even chemotherapy, as well as many other things. Having good flexibility and strength in these areas will help.

The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. You can bend the leg you are not stretching towards you. Put a belt, towel, or dog leash around the ball of your foot. Keep your back and knee straight, and relax your ankle. Pull your foot towards you with the strap until you feel a stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

Next are ankle pumps. With your legs straight out in front of you, place a roll just under your ankle so your heel can move freely. Trying to keep your leg straight and moving only at your ankle, pull your foot up towards you, and then push it down like you are pushing on a peddle. Then you will do ankle circles. Again, try not to move your whole leg. Keep the movement at the ankle. Do ten one direction, and then reverse it and do ten the other direction.

Now you will do a simple straight leg raise (SLR). You want to squeeze your muscles tight to lock out the knee and pull your toes towards your head to keep the whole leg straight. This will work your hip flexor muscles when you lift your leg off the ground. Use slow controlled movements to make sure you are using the muscles and not momentum. Start off with ten, and work your way up.

Then, you are going to lie on your side. The top leg is going to stay straight and pull your toes up towards you. Keep your body in a straight line as well. This is going to work your hip abductor muscles. Then you are going to work the bottom leg working your hip adductor muscles. Same as above, keep the leg straight. Start with ten of each of these, and do both sides.

In standing, you will do a heel/toe raise off the ground. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Then lift your toes off the ground, alternating back and forth. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25.

The last exercise will be a balance series. Stand on one foot, but hold onto something sturdy. Try to balance for 30 seconds to a minute. When that becomes easy, just use one finger one each side. Then just one finger for balance, and finally try balancing without holding on at all.

Related Videos:

Calf Exercises for Strengthening:

3 Best Stretches for Knee Pain:

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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

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Peripheral Neuropathy Relief in the Feet & Legs:

DISCLAIMER: This content (the video, description, links, and comments) is not medical advice or a treatment plan and is intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. This content should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this content to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained in this content. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ask Doctor Jo, LLC and its officers for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of this content. Ask Doctor Jo, LLC makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this content. Use of this content is at your sole risk.

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46 comments

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  • olumuyiwa dairo says:

    I feel numb on my right leg from my hip down to my foot, I lose balance when I’m walking something, I’m scared, bcos now I walk wobbly, my right leg sometimes feel heavy for me to lift. I’m confused.

  • Matthew Dingus says:

    Hey doctor. I have a constant internal vibration sensation in the ball of my right foot. I was diagnosed with type 2 DM about 3 months ago. It’s driving me absolutely crazy. I haven’t consoled my GP yet. Any body rods of wisdom?

  • DeathIs_Peace76 says:

    I had a seizure and it shocked my brain and did nerve damage. I can no longer feel much emotions nor am I empathetic towards people like I use to. I use to be the best dancer until this…I pray for immense healing from this numbness. I can barely feel or taste. I feel the circulation flowing after doing these stretches. I didn’t know what to do. Thank you so much !

  • Sanu Shahna says:

    Can you show the exercises of hand and fingers numbness

  • Noureddine Blogs says:

    Hi doctor i don’t understand good but i feel tingling in my hand and my feet is this video good for me becouse i think you said there’s common hand and feet please

  • Joseph Mullen says:

    hi i being walking for a mile or more everyday i am not used of it and my legs get sore , should i carry on with walking everyday can you advice me thanks very much.

  • Kristyn Johnson says:

    Building up thigh strength!

  • doreen lafond says:

    Exercises for nerve pain in foot after tkr

  • David Aguirre says:

    I have neuropathy pain and back, and sciatica pain. My feet feel like they are on a permanent cramp. They are very stiff. Pain worsens when trying to twist or bend over. Weather changes are cruel on me. My feet are on constant and persistent pain with severe cramping of muscles, toes , and my calves are always spasmodic.

  • Orange MeG says:

    I have a hard time going up the stairs.pls help on what to do

  • Orange MeG says:

    I have a hard time going up the stairs.pls help on what to do

  • Please please please, any advise for Foot Drop. Can move foot inward only, stand or walk a bit on toes but that's it!!! Can move toes downward but not up. Lost feeling from under the knee including toes but can feel my foot underneath. PLEASE. THANK YOU

  • Sreeram Rajendran says:

    Can u tell any exercise for thigh numbness?

  • Dhanraj Vagare says:

    Is it helpful in alcohol induced peripheral neuropathy?

  • Prerna Sharma says:

    God bless u… This actually helped me.
    Thanks a ton!!

  • thedarkbelow6 CB says:

    I am type 2 diabetic, and just about 3 months ago I started to get really bad foot pain. Burning, sharp needle like pain, and numbness. During the day i hardly notice it. At times it does hurt, but I really feel it during the night. I get about 3 hours of sleep, and nap during the day if possible. The pain keeps me up, and doesn’t let me sleep. I’ll definitely give these exercises a go before bed. I did notice since no movement during sleep the pain builds up so it wakes me. I never really took care of myself being a diabetic nor took any medication, but that’s all changed now I’m back on my meds! But bad eating habits are hard to kick. Definitely making better life choices!!! Alcohol was one of the hardest bad habit to kick I am now 3 weeks sober it’s not easiest, but I’m doing it, and I’m proud of myself for that.

  • Akhilesh Patel says:

    How treat nerve damage in 5 day ?

  • Manasvii Mehra says:

    My big toe and the first finger is getting numb I have a diabetes is there any other cause

  • brooke nanana says:

    So helpful. Thank you!

  • Alex Mascarenhas says:

    Thank you for the video Dr. Jo. Will try these up.

  • sachin shinde says:

    Hi Dr jo my left leg totally burning please any suggestions to reduce my burning pain please help me & reply me

  • Renz De guzman says:

    Where do we get the lower back spasm? Do we have to use cold water or not if u have back spasm or back problem? Pls help me.. coz somebody said cold water is caused of back spasm..is that true? What do u have to do to solve my back and lower back spasm problem.. it really hurts

  • Asef Faghiri says:

    Hi doc I just want to ask a question and that question is if this gets worse after time? I’ve got mine from a medication I’m only 15 and this really sucks!!

  • im 22. i workout, stretch, eat healthy and sleep well but my finger, knees and toes are always numb and especially cold!

  • Al Kothdiwala says:

    Can i go for like a 20 minutes walk before i do these?? Or is it better to walk after doing these?

  • Hey Dr.Jo , I have a burning sensation on the top of my foot, literally just started like almost 2 days ago , I feel like it had sort of improved….. what can it be? (BTW I had a blood test like 1 1/2 years ago & told me everything was good) I’m overweight but other than that I feel fine just a burning sensation in my top feet …. any idea?

  • Alcohol is a reason for neuropathy..??

  • Kishor Reddy says:

    Hi mam I am suffering from gullie barrine syndtome (gbs)
    My nerves are week in legs so can i recover from that by doing this ecxercises

  • Nawed Diwan says:

    I have burning feet sensation , can it help that too?

  • Johnny Salter says:

    I can't do Toe Raises my calves to lock up for maybe a week. And no stretching I know of relieves it,

  • Kelly Cowan says:

    I have bursitis in my hip and p. A. D. Leg ulsers

  • Jeannie Billiejean says:

    Peripheral neuropathy is so painful. Sometimes my feet feel like I stuck them on a live wire. then other times, like now my feet feel like they're in a bucket of frozen ice. Anyone else feel that way too?
    Edit- my feet are beyond falling asleep.. it's very painful.. more like a burning painful numbness and very sensitive.. and at times a painful freezing cold but not to the touch.

  • Sylvia Morales says:

    Hello so today I wore some sandals and they fit good but somehow today I wore them and when I came home I took them off and a small part on the side of my foot is numb and won't go away… will it go away on its own? I'm scared to go to the hospital especially with this covid19 going on… help please 🙁 I'm scared will this go away on its own?

  • steve kierstead says:

    Can I get this in my arms and hands

  • Shanna Ciano says:

    My feet aren't numb but the bottom of my foot burns badly. Will these exercises help with that?

  • Alauddin Ahmed says:

    Thank you so much, doctor jo. Your exercise techniques really helped my grandparents……

  • Alauddin Ahmed says:

    Dr. Jo, my grandfather is suffering from parkinson disease. He doesn’t have left hand and his left leg's fingers are not in normal way. How will he do his exercises?????

  • karnig beylikjian says:

    Her style is so easy and natural. Really good! I have neuropathy for delayed back surgery and these are for useful for me. Thank you.

  • khingmg Htwe says:

    I am very much greatful for your help. Thanks . It works perfectly.

  • sanjida turna says:

    Thanks a lot doctor jo

  • Udhaya Banu says:

    I feel in hands what to do

  • Wendy Hall says:

    Dr. Jo, with my age and disability, I am unable to get down on the floor and beds are too soft for some of these exercises. How about alternative for people who love YOGA but cannot get down on the floor and get up again easily any more??

Peripheral Neuropathy Relief in the Feet & Legs

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