Nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy can be one of the frustrating and debilitating complication of diabetes because of the pain, discomfort and disability for which available treatment are not uniformly successful. The symptoms of this peripheral neuropathy may begin with numbness, tingling and pain in toes, feet, legs fingers and hands are usually mild for several years. Only in a small percent of persons it can go on to be very distressful leading to sleep disturbance.
The nerve damage in this type of diabetic foot pain is usually due to
- Damage (narrowing) of the small blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves
- In persons whose blood glucose remains high over many years possibly the high glucose, low insulin and abnormal fats in blood may be responsible for the nerve damage.
How can Yoga help?
Can you now do a small experiment on yourself? Please stand up make yourself compatible and stable. Close your eyes. Slowly start lifting your right upper limb slight up to horizontal fist and then to vertical with arm touching your right ear stretches the arm up as much as you can and wait for a few seconds. Observe the sensations in the finger tips. You may start feeling the tingling and numbness. Now slowly start moving the right arm down slowly drop down and relax to observe what happens to the finger tips as you wait for a few seconds with eyes closed. You can feel the blood rushing to the finger tips and throbbing with warm blood flowing down with gravity. What is this? When the arm rise up tingling occurred because the blood flow to the tine sensory nerves was less and it went away completely when the blood flow increased with gravity. This effect can be improved, enhanced and stabilized if you can do this with deep breathing and awareness of the stretch followed by relaxation.
Due to diabetes when the nerves are giving you trouble because of long term lack of bloods flow you need to do more number of practices for a longer duration to reverse the changes in the blood vessels and improve the blood flow. The special practice that you need to repeat every 2 hours during the day and also at night before going to bed is straight leg raising in supine position at the edge of you cot. Lie-down at the right edge of the cot. Breath in raise the right leg up to about 60 to 80 degree, hold for 5 counts. Now while breathing at bring the leg down and drop it down below the cot to feel the leg hanging freely. Repeat the same 20 times with eyes closed and deep internal awareness. Move to the left edge of the cot and repeat the same with the left leg.
Other set of practice for diabetic neuropathy of feet includes – proper diet, walking, stress free lifestyle, attitudinal changes to stay in divine mood and follow regular set of Kriyas, Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, and Medication as described in Yoga for diabetes.
Parsva means side or flank. This Sarvangasana variation is done by giving the trunk a lateral twist.
- From Salamba Sarvangasana , turn the trunk and legs to the right.
- Place the left palm on the left hip, so that the coccyx rests on the wrist. Lower the body on the left hand and bear the weight of the body on the left elbow and wrist.
- The right palm remains as in Sarvangasana on the back dorsal region.
- Move the legs over the left palm at an angle and stay in this position for 20 seconds breathing normally.
Exhale, come back to Salamba Sarvangasana and repeat on the right side for the same length of time.