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#24 Feel Good With Regular Exercise

Research – Regular Exercise can be gentle

In an experimental study by the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), results suggested that regular exercise can reduce the inflammatory response caused by certain cytokines (small proteins involved in immune responses) as well as the characteristic abnormal response to temperature and pressure. (1)

Gentle strength training is necessary to keep the muscles that support your joints strong, and maintaining flexibility will aid in preventing your joints from stiffening. The result can be a reduction in the inflammation and swelling that cause painful joints.  Adding low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking, stationary biking or swimming can have the additional benefit of helping with weight loss or maintenance, and preventing the pain that excess weight can put on weak joints. And, we all know we get a better sleep when we have exercised during the day.

Regular exercise
Image Source: CNA / Canva

For diabetics

Patients with diabetes encounter additional challenges:  regulation of blood glucose levels, increased susceptibility to foot ulceration, and falls due to changes in sensation and balance.  According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, 70% of diabetic patients experience neuropathic pain. The improved control of blood glucose levels that results from regular exercise can greatly reduce the progression of diabetic neuropathy. (2)

Exercise can play an important role in offering patients a non-drug addition – and in many cases, alternative – to deal with their neuropathic pain, without the side effects associated with medications.

Consult your doctor

Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. And remember that everyone is different; be aware of how your body feels after exercise. Some effort is required to generate results; however, the goal is not to increase your pain but to increase your overall strength and sense of well-being, and offer you the chance to take a proactive role in your care.

Related CNA Resources:

We can't do it alone.

Food for thought...


  1. International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). “How Does Exercise Affect Nerve Pain?” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2012. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120601120513.htm
  2. Shakher J, Stevens MJ. Update on the management of diabetic polyneuropathies. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2011;4:289-305.

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