Regardless of the type of your neuropathy – one of the common symptoms among all types is poor circulation to the nerves. Good circulation is important for anyone, but especially for those suffering from neuropathy. Poor circulation can increase the risk of complications and pain in neuropathy sufferers – especially in the hands and feet.
Improving circulation can help stimulate the nerves and ease some of the pain associated with nerve damage. Blood plays an important role in carrying healing nutrients to all parts of the body and also removing harmful toxins from the tissue. As such, good circulation is crucial to giving your body its best chance at healing and fighting off harmful toxins.
There are a number of techniques for improving circulation, including massage, stretching, etc – but today we will focus on hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy techniques involve using water in any form – i.e. liquid, ice, and steam – to treat problem areas and improve circulation. Here are three common and effective hydrotherapy techniques:
1. Contrast Hydrotherapy
Alternating between hot and cold water helps expand and constrict the blood vessels – forcing the blood to move through the vessels to other areas in the body. You can perform this technique by soaking your hands or feet in a tub of water, alternating between warm and cold water. As a rule, you should always spend more time soaking in the warm water than the cool water.
In addition to improving circulation – the warm water releases pain-relieving endorphins that help block pain. The warm water also helps the body to relax, thereby reducing the stress and anxiety that can aggravate your symptoms.
As always, use caution when soaking numb hands or feet. Have a spouse or family member gauge water temperature for you by placing their hands or feet in the water first.
2. Constitutional Hydrotherapy
This technique involves placing hot and cold towels on the chest and back. It has been used to effectively treat various ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and more. As this technique is more involved, it will require a partner to help you perform the various tasks.
For a full guide of how to properly perform constitutional hydrotherapy, click here.
3. Hot Foot Bath
This technique can be surprisingly effective even if the symptoms of your nerve damage aren’t manifest in the feet. That’s because soaking your feet in hot water can help draw the blood away from inflamed areas of the body – thereby reducing some of the pain and inflammation associated with nerve damage. If your nerve pain is manifest in the feet – this technique is still effective as the warm water releases pain-blocking endorphins and helps to relax the nerves in the feet.
Make sure water temperature is not too hot for numb feet. Also, make sure to carefully dry the feet after each therapy session.
There are a number of other hydrotherapy techniques designed to improve circulation and relieve some of the pain and inflammation associated with nerve damage – but these are three of our favorite techniques. As always, ask your doctor what alternative therapies are safe for your situation.