Peripheral neuropathy of the feet causes pain that’s often described as stabbing, tingling, or burning. It can also cause muscle weakness, numbness, and lack of coordination.
Traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes, and exposure to toxins are all reasons for a person to develop neuropathy, but diabetes is the most common one. 34.2 million people in the United States have diabetes, and up to 50% of them suffer from peripheral neuropathy.
Along with proper treatment, do foot massagers help neuropathy? The answer is yes. Many studies show that foot massages can help alleviate negative symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy such as imbalance and general pain.
How Do Foot Massagers Help Neuropathy?
A lot of people limit the positive effects of foot massages at making you more relaxed with less sore feet. But using a foot massager can introduce you to several health benefits aiming to improve your condition.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways foot massagers can help neuropathic patients:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60% of adults in the United States don’t take part in the recommended amount of activity. If you regularly sit down or stand up for extended periods without moving around or exposing your legs and feet to some extent of physical activity, then you’re one of them.
This is one of the major reasons why blood circulation in your feet may be compromised. Being constricted by shoes for a long time just adds salt to injury.
Ensuring adequate blood flow to your neuropathic feet boosts the chance of healing their numbness. Proper blood circulation supports nerves to work as they’re supposed to be, restoring strength in your feet so you can walk normally.
A foot massage for about 10 to 30 minutes daily can improve the circulation in your feet to support tissue healing.
According to a 2015 study regarding the effects of Thai foot massage on balance performance in diabetic patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy, foot massage can be a viable alternative treatment for balance performance, range of motion of the foot, and foot sensation.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Alleviating stress and anxiety is one of the best-known effects a foot massage can offer after a long day. Stress is closely related to neuropathy, because who can fully relax when their feet are killing them?
A foot massage for about 10 to 20 minutes every day can help you unwind. It can even help fight depression and lift your mood.
According to a study involving a long-term care staff who work in a stressful environment working with older patients suffering from dementia, 10-minute foot massage sessions resulted in improved mood, decreased anxiety, and even lower blood pressure.
Encourages Better Sleep
Receiving a foot massage right before getting tucked in can help you achieve enhanced sleep quality. Thanks to the soothing effects delivered by foot massagers (especially those aiming to relax the nerves), you’ll sleep better – something that neuropathy often takes away from its patients.
This foot, ankle and leg massager uses a deep kneading Shiatsu technique to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, stimulate muscle recovery, provide pain relief, or offer pure and thorough relaxation after a long day.
Are Foot Massagers Safe?
Yes, foot massagers are safe for use as long as you’re using your unit foot according to proper instructions. Foot massagers are safe for various age groups to use, including older people 50 years and up.
It’s best to talk to your doctor if you feel any pain while using a foot massager to check if you should be using it again.
How often Should You Use a Foot Massager for Maximum Benefits?
There isn’t a specific answer to this question. You can practically use your foot massager as frequently as you want, given that you don’t experience painful sensations.
But as a rule of thumb, you can achieve all of the health benefits we discussed above by using a foot massager for around 10 to 30 minutes per day.
Most foot massagers on the market come with automatic timers that shut off the operation after 15 or 30 minutes. This is a precaution to avoid overstimulating your feet or causing unwanted pain and discomfort.
So, do foot massagers help neuropathy? Yes, and in more ways than one!
Foot massagers can help improve blood circulation in your feet, support tissue healing, promote nerve function, and relieve nerve pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.