Barefoot Science, Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series, Naboso Technology

The Best Insoles for Preventing Running Related Injuries

What are the best insoles for running injury prevention?

The softer, the better, you might say.  But is extra cushioning actually the best approach for preventing injuries?

Recent research indicates that more cushioning in our shoes and insoles is actually not effective for preventing running-related injuries.

In fact, there’s evidence that too much cushioning may even increase the risk of injuries for runners.

In contrast, research has demonstrated that energy returning insoles and textured insoles may be the best way to go to better control ground impact forces.

This article suggests three of the best running insoles and how each may prevent running-related injuries. You’ll discover their benefits, features, and more. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better informed to choose the best insoles for runners.

Firstly, do you even need running insoles?

No matter how much you spend on your running shoes, they more often than not seem to come with a cheap insole. Usually it’s just a thin sock liner that doesn’t add much comfort or support.  So a question that many runners ask is, “Do I even need insoles in my running shoes?”

The answer depends on several things. Let’s examine a couple of them.

Foot Type.

The need for running insoles is greatly dependent on foot-type and foot strength.  The most common foot types are high arch, neutral and flat foot.  These are intended to not be medical terminology but to get start a general idea of the various foot types and the impact of each.

The flat foot / low arch may often be associated with over-pronation or an unstable foot.   If this is your foot type then having a running insole may provide some necessary foot support and control.   Conversely, a high arched foot is typically a rigid foot and needs the opposite of support – mobilization.   A neutral foot sits in the middle which could go either way based on the runner’s mileage and injury history.

Mileage.

The second big question when considering running insoles has to do with the mileage.   Do you plan to run a couple miles at a time or are you pushing 10+ miles per session?   The further the run obviously the greater the stress on feet and lower legs.   We all hit a fatigue point with our muscles which means the longer the run potentially the greater the need for running insoles.

Injury History.

This is a big one as it helps to gauge general foot strength.    In those runner’s with a history of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and stress fractures they may have an increased susceptibility to running-related injuries.   Combine this with longer mileage and let’s say a flat foot or over-pronated foot, this is a recipe for needing running-related insoles.

VKTRY Performance Insoles

Carbon-fiber insoles are one of the hottest trends in the performance industry.    This incredibly light weight yet strong material is suggested to provide greater energy return thereby improving a runner’s energetics.  An interesting study by Hoogkamer suggests that the plate’s spring function is actually negligible and that carbon fiber insoles actually work by stabilizing the ankle joint and reducing the load on the calves.  In addition, its stiffness helps keep runners’ toes nice and straight, allowing them to preserve the energy.   Check out vktrygear.com to learn more!

ZELUS Olympus Arch Insoles

If foot type, mileage or injury history supports using an arch support in your running shoes you want to make sure you chose wisely.  Due to the dynamics of running, any insole in a running shoe should have some level of flex to it.   Running is all about balancing foot strength (or support) with energy return and moving harmoniously with the ground.   Any overly stiff insole can actually increase injury risk if it blocks all natural energy return from the ground.    The ZELUS Insole line provides innovative SmartCell design to better balance support and dynamics during running.  To learn more head to zelusinsoles.com

NABOSO 1.5 Textured Insole

A completely flat, textured insole may seem counterintuitive to how an insole can reduce running related injuries, however the science is actually there.   Textured insoles, such as those by Naboso Technology work by strengthening the small muscles in the bottom of the foot, increasing joint stabilization, and reducing impact forces.  In addition, if users wear the Naboso 1.5 Insole post-run, it’s also a great way to speed up recovery.   To learn more head to nabosotechnology.com

Ready. Set. Go!

Running has many health benefits, but it also comes with a high risk of injury.  Every year, more than one in every two runners in the world suffers a running injury with most of them due to overuse, excessive training, and repetitive movement.

In addition to considering the above running-related insoles don’t forget to also include a proper warm-up, cooldown and sufficient cross training to total body strength.    You can learn more about preventing running-related injuries via the following program by myself and Stick MobilityRun Injury Free! 

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Barefoot Science, Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series, Naboso Technology

Common Causes of Arch Pain & Prevention With Foot Strengthening

Though foot arch pain is common in athletes, it can happen to anyone, whether they love exercise or enjoy living life slowly. That’s because the arches of the foot do a lot of work every day. They absorb the shock when you walk or run, and they bear your weight when you stand.

You may not notice the hard work your feet do — until you get arch pain. Many things can cause it: injury, wearing the wrong kind of footwear, excessive walking, standing improperly, and more.

Being familiar with its causes and symptoms might help you prevent it. Or, if you’re suffering from arch pain, learning about its treatment could help you prepare for a doctor’s appointment.

What Is Arch Pain?

Arch pain is discomfort, inflammation, or tenderness in the arch of the foot. It can refer to any pain located between the ball of the foot and the heel.

To be able to identify this kind of foot pain, you need to understand the role of the arches of the foot.

The Arches of the Foot

If you’ve ever walked barefoot on damp sand, you probably know what the imprint of your foot looks like. The barefoot imprint of most adults has a gap on the inner side, between the ball of the foot and the heel. That’s where the arches of the foot are. (Babies and toddlers don’t have an arch. In fact, children develop an arch when they’re 3 to 10 years old.)

Each foot has three arches: two longitudinal (across the length of the foot) and one 4108-img1transverse (across the width of the foot). The lateral longitudinal arch is on the outer side of the foot, and the medial one, on the inner side of the foot. The lateral arches act as pillars for the transverse arch.

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments make up the foot arches. Together they create a structure that supports your body weight when you stand, walk, or run. The arches act as shock absorbers, or springboards.

Here’s how they work: The longitudinal arches flatten slightly when you stand or walk, under the load of your body. They return to their original, curve shape when you lift your foot from the ground — when you remove the load. In a way, they function like a car’s suspension.

Anything that affects the arches’ position could cause discomfort and pain, and limit their function. The location of arch pain is usually in the medial longitudinal arch. But it can also be in the other two arches.

Symptoms: How Arch Pain Feels Like

Having painful feet can make it difficult to walk or exercise. Arch pain ranges in intensity from discomfort to sharp or burning pain. Its symptoms can manifest in many forms. Here’s how people may describe how they feel:

  • Sharp pain in the bottom of the foot
  • Pain in the middle of the arch
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Arch and ankle pain
  • Tenderness in one point of the arch
  • General tenderness in the foot
  • Foot discomfort when standing for a long time
  • Heel pain when running
  • Feeling like you’re walking on a pebble
  • Pain at the top of the foot
  • Pain when extending the foot
  • Discomfort when flexing the arch

Some types of foot arch pain get worse with movement. Another type of pain is more severe in the morning and gets better during the day. The discomfort may be light and allow you to walk normally, but not run or cycle. Or, the pain can be so sharp that your heels hurt even when you stand. The intensity and type of arch pain depend on its cause.

Causes and Types of Arch Pain

Overuse, impact injuries, certain medical conditions, gaining weight, and weak feet can all cause arch pain. Even walking in improper shoes that make your arches work harder can be painful. It’s no wonder that about 80 percent of people say they have experienced a foot ailment in their life.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common causes of arch pain in adults.

Plantar Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs from heel to toes. Irritation and PFinflammation occur when the fascia stretches too much away from the heel. When this happens, you may develop plantar fasciitis. This condition leads to painful heels and arches. You may feel your foot is sore or tender under the heel or in the middle of the arch. You might also get swelling of the heel.

The severity of the pain ranges from very mild to incapacitating. Usually, the pain is worse in the morning when you get out of bed. Then, after you walk for a few minutes, the fascia stretches and the pain gets better.

One of the main causes of this kind of pain is having a faulty structure of the foot. If you have high arches or flat feet, you’re more likely to develop plantar heel pain. Other things that put strain on the plantar fascia are wearing unsupportive shoes and being overweight.

If you leave this condition untreated, the pain may increase over a few months. It may limit your ability to do daily activities such as working or exercising. It might even lead to disability. After treatment, if the cause remains, you may need to continue with preventive measures (more about these later).

Flexible Flatfoot

Flatfoot affects about 23 percent of adults, according to a study. If you have flatfoot, the longitudinal arch of the foot collapses (partially or totally). As a result, the foot sole touches the ground more than it would if you had a normal arch.

This disorder usually starts when you’re a child or teen. It gets worse as you get older. There are several types of flatfoot, one of the most common being flexible flatfoot.

One of the symptoms is overpronation. If you overpronate, you put most of the weight on the inside edge of the foot. Your foot rolls too much inward, and this increases the strain on your arch and heel. Because the arches flatten too much, they can’t properly absorb the shocks from your stride. The result may be arch pain or discomfort. You may also feel an ache in the heel and ankle.

As the body is out of alignment when you have flatfoot, you may also experience aches in your leg, knee, and hip.

There’s no agreement on the cause of flexible flatfoot. Doctors have several theories about it. They believe it might be the result of muscular imbalance, obesity, or problems with foot ligaments. The disorder sometimes runs in the family. Many people are born with flatfoot, and others develop it later in life. The causes of this condition include tendon injuries, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, and certain neuropathies.

If you think you have arch pain from flatfoot, speak to a doctor. Treatment may help relieve the symptoms.

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD)

PTTD can lead to flattening of the foot due to overuse or weakness of the posterior tibial tendon. But unlike flexible flatfoot, which can develop either in childhood or later, PTTD develops during adulthood. Many simple but repetitive activities (for example, walking, climbing stairs, or running) can cause PTTD. Its symptoms include arch pain and swelling in one foot or both feet.

Without treatment, the condition gets worse with time. It may even lead to arthritis in the ankle. In its early stages, PTTD can cause swelling and redness, as well as pain on the inside of the foot. Later, the pain may shift to the outside of the foot and the ankle.

If you notice your foot is excessively warm or swollen, contact a doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment may relieve arch pain and prevent complications from flatfoot.

Other Conditions That Can Cause Arch Pain

Apart from plantar fasciitis and flatfoot, many other conditions can make your arch hurt. Here are some examples:

  • Peripheral neuropathies.When the foot’s nerves don’t function well — due to compression, injury, or other causes — you may get sharp pain or a burning sensation in the arches of the foot.
  • Muscle spasms.Especially if you exercise, you’ve likely experienced muscle spasms or cramps. They can have many causes, ranging from dehydration to injury.
  • This disease usually affects the big toe joint, but it can also affect the arches of the foot. Osteoarthritis is common in older people.
  • Foot sores.Many conditions (like lupus, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis) can cause foot sores that won’t heal, and lead to arch pain.
  • Stress fractures.The foot can suffer damage from repetitive overuse, for example, excessive exercise. Arch pain from a fracture usually gets worse with increasing activity.
  • Ligament sprain.It happens when a foot ligament twists or stretches abnormally due to an unusual movement.
  • This is an inflammation of the tendons in the foot.

There are many possible causes of arch pain. So, you might not be able to identify yours on your own. Even if you do, seeking a medical professional’s opinion is key to receiving an accurate diagnosis.

Common Treatments for Arch Pain

If the bottom of your foot hurts at the end of a busy day, or if you notice discomfort in your foot arch after exercise, some home remedies for arch pain might work:

  • Rest — to prevent further damage
  • Apply an ice pack — to reduce inflammation (pain and swelling)
  • Wear shoes with good arch support — to reduce stress on your arch
  • Use textured insoles in your shoes — to reduce foot fatigue and pain
  • Consider taking over-the-counter medicines (such as ibuprofen) — to ease pain and reduce inflammation

Oftentimes it’s wise to seek medical assistance. Treatment for arch pain depends on its cause. If the culprit is plantar fasciitis or flatfoot, your doctor may prescribe a nonsurgical treatment. In some cases, surgery may be needed.

There’s no doubt, however, that the best treatment for arch pain is prevention.

A New Approach to Prevent Arch Pain

There are many things you can do to prevent arch pain. Any personal trainer will tell you to stretch your foot and calves, and include resting periods in your workout routine. In addition, you need to focus on foot strengthening and stimulation.

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Naboso Textured Insoles

There is a new approach to prevent arch pain that relies on the natural strength of the foot and nervous system. This approach may seem as quite simplistic to be effective: textured insoles. However, research has shown that using textured insoles can prevent arch pain, as well as having a number of other benefits.

The Problem With Footwear

The nerves on the bottom of your feet send sensory information like texture, temperature, and touch to your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), which uses this information to control your posture and balance. Essentially, it controls the way you stand, walk, and run by controlling your muscle response and dynamic stability.

Unfortunately, all kinds of footwear block some of this stimulation to some degree. As a result, there’s a delay in the central nervous system and the way the foot stabilizes. This can affect movement and gait.

But shoes are a reality in our society, so what can you do?

Enter Naboso Technology

Fortunately, solutions exist to increase foot nerve stimulation when you wear shoes. An effective and easy solution is using the textured insoles from Naboso Technology.

If your foot is in contact with textured insoles, you enjoy better postural control, improved stability, and reduced risk of injury.

When you walk or run, information on vibration and texture enters the foot as nervous stimulation. The brain uses this sensory feedback to maintain dynamic balance and prepare the right response to impact forces by controlling the foot’s muscles. Essentially, the brain needs sensory stimulation to control how the foot arches absorb the shock from walking or running.

So, proper sensory stimulation of the plantar foot is necessary for intrinsic muscle strength and movement control.

But, as mentioned above, wearing shoes reduces this stimulation. If the nerves of your foot don’t receive proper sensory feedback, your muscles cannot respond properly or timely to impact shocks. As a result, reduced foot stimulation weakens the foot and makes you prone to plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, or other injuries that can cause arch pain.

As you cannot walk barefoot all the time, you need an effective solution. Simply insert textured insoles into your everyday or training shoes to ensure your foot’s nerves are stimulated. By enhancing proprioceptive stimulation, Naboso Technology insoles have immediate positive effects on the neuromuscular system.

How Textured Insoles Can Prevent Ovepronation and Arch Pain

Using textured insoles has another benefit in relation to foot arch health. Research hasNeuro Insoles shown that increasing the sensory stimulation of the bottom of the foot could prevent excessive pronation. As foot pain and overpronation are connected, taking measures to avoid it may help prevent or reduce arch pain.

You can increase the sensory stimulation that the foot arch receives by wearing Naboso Technology insoles in your everyday shoes. This increased sensory stimulation decreases midfoot pronation during walking, reducing foot fatigue and preventing arch pain.

To sum up, Naboso Technology insoles have an important function in the control of overpronation, foot stabilization, muscle strength, and movement. And maintaining proper foot function and stimulation helps prevent and reduce arch pain.

Conclusion

The arches of your foot support you when you stand, walk, or run. They transfer your weight to the muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons of the foot. Anything that puts too much pressure on your arches could cause arch pain. Doing excessive exercise, standing for many hours a day, having a condition that flattens the arch, and gaining weight can all lead to foot problems. Fractures, injuries, and other medical conditions can also cause pain in the foot arch.

Occasional arch pain or discomfort is common. In some cases the symptoms can go away with no treatment. Home remedies such as rest and ice might ease the pain. But other times you may need to seek medical help. Left untreated, arch pain can cause severe complications and may even result in disability. To prevent arch pain, avoid excessive strain, and wear shoes with arch support and textured insoles to make sure your foot’s nerves receive proper stimulation.

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Peripheral Neuropathy | Enhanced Sensory Stimulation May Improve Balance & Stability

Feeling pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your hands or feet may be a sign of foot_neuropathy_pain_-_istock_4bb60646-139e-4584-94b5-896d91e8982d_1200xperipheral neuropathy. This condition damages your peripheral nerves. They allow your brain and spinal cord to communicate with the rest of your body.

Peripheral neuropathy is a common condition. More than 20 million Americans suffer from it. While it can affect people of any age, it’s more common in people over 55.

There are many types of peripheral neuropathy, each with a different cause. Treatment for this condition depends on finding what has damaged the nerves. Unfortunately, the cause sometimes remains unknown. Also, even when doctors do discover the cause, the treatment may not reduce all symptoms.

The good news is that the peripheral nerves have an incredible ability. They can regenerate themselves. When they do, the symptoms may disappear on their own or after treatment. But not all types of peripheral neuropathy have a cure. This means some people have to live with their condition.

Learn more about peripheral neuropathy, its symptoms, causes, and treatment options. This information can help you manage your condition and reduce its impact on your life and well-being.

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system. This is one of the two components of the nervous system. The other component is the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

How the Peripheral Nerves Work

The peripheral nervous system is made up of peripheral nerves. They reach all parts of your body apart from brain and spinal cord. These nerves control how you sense touch and feel pain and temperature. They also control your muscle strength and coordination.

The peripheral nerves carry information to and from the central nervous system. They allow your feet, arms, and organs to send information to your brain. For example, they tell the central nervous system that you feel pain when you step on a tack, or that your hands are cold.

In turn, the central nervous system uses the peripheral nerves to send signals to your body. These signals are “orders” to your muscles and organs. That’s how you’re able to move, breathe, and maintain your balance.

Damage to Peripheral Nerves

The peripheral nerves are fragile. Whey they suffer injury, they can no longer perform their function well.

Damage to peripheral nerves affects how the central and peripheral nervous systems communicate. Damaged communication between the two can lead to loss of sensation. For example, you may become unable to feel a burn from hot water. Or, damaged nerves can lead to loss of function, like being unable to maintain balance when you walk. This, in turn, increases your risk of injuries and falls.

Often, peripheral neuropathy can cause discomfort, numbness, and tingling. It may also lead to weakness in the feet, hands, legs, and arms. Sometimes it causes pain. And some neuropathies may limit your mobility. Your condition might make you unable to enjoy simple everyday activities. Even walking can become difficult.

All these symptoms can disrupt your life. But not all types of peripheral neuropathy are crippling. And treatment is available for many neuropathies. To prescribe the right treatment, doctors first need to discover the cause of the disease.

Causes of Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a very common condition. It affects about 6 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 20 million people.

It can have various causes. The most common is diabetes.  About 60 percent of people with diabetes will develop peripheral neuropathy. That’s because high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves.

Another common cause of peripheral neuropathy is nerve injury or trauma. This can result from auto collisions, sports accidents, medical procedures, and more.

For example, all of the following can cause injury to nerve tissue:

  • Bruising
  • Stretching
  • Cutting or tearing
  • Electrical injury
  • Gunshot wound

Not only injury but also compression can harm the nerve tissue. For example, the carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of compression peripheral neuropathy. It affects the hands. Its cause is repetitive motions that put pressure on a nerve.

Other causes of peripheral neuropathy include the following:

  • Alcoholism
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Heavy metal exposure (for example, lead poisoning)
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as solvent
  • Infections (including Lyme disease, AIDS, and hepatitis C)
  • Vitamin deficiency (for example, B1, B6, B12)
  • Kidney disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Metabolic disease

Peripheral neuropathy is also a side effect of certain types of medication. One example is chemotherapy drugs.

In rare cases, peripheral neuropathy runs in the family. This means that parents can pass it to their children. Inherited peripheral neuropathy includes the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

Doctors can’t always find the cause of peripheral neuropathy. In one-third of cases, it remains unknown. This makes prescribing treatment difficult. When doctors cannot identify the cause of this condition, they call it idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.

Types of Peripheral Neuropathy

More than 100 types of peripheral neuropathy exist, says the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

According to one classification, there are three main categories of peripheral neuropathy:

  • Motor neuropathyaffects motor nerves. The central nervous system uses these nerves to send orders to all the muscles in the body. They allow you to walk, talk, move your fingers, and catch a ball. Damage to motor nerves can cause muscle weakness, cramps, and spasms. It can also make walking or moving your arms difficult.
  • Sensory neuropathyaffects sensory nerves. They send information from your muscles to your central nervous system. They allow you to sense temperature, touch, and pain. Damage to sensory nerves can cause numbness, tingling, extreme sensitivity to touch or temperature, and even pain.
  • Autonomic nerve neuropathyaffects autonomic nerves. These control bodily functions like heartbeat, breathing, digestion, sweating, and blood pressure. You can’t control most of these functions. Damage to autonomic nerves may cause your heart to beat faster (or slower) or cause you to be unable to sweat (or sweat too much). It may also lead to problems with digestion, urination, and sexual functions.

Here are some examples of peripheral neuropathies.

  • Diabetic neuropathy: It affects all three groups of nerves (motor, sensory, and anatomic). And it damages nerves throughout the body.
  • Alcoholic neuropathy: Excessive alcohol use damages the peripheral nerves.
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome: This is a rare disease in which the body’s immune (defense) system attacks the nerves.
  • Bell’s palsy: This disorder affects the nerves and muscles of the face.
  • Ulnar neuropathy: Its cause is the compression of the ulnar nerve, located in the arm.
  • Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy: Nerve damage can be a side effect of using chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Repetitive movements (such as typing on a keyboard) put pressure on the nerve and tendons in the forearm and hand.

Most people with peripheral neuropathy have more than one type at the same time. The term for this condition is polyneuropathy.  If you have only one damaged nerve, you have mononeuropathy. Each type of neuropathy has its own set of symptoms.

Symptoms

The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy range from mild to severe. Some can be disabling and even lead to paralysis. Pain may or may not be present. In fact, according to researchers, pain is a symptom of half of all cases of polyneuropathy.

The symptoms may appear suddenly, or take months or years to develop. Their onset depends on the cause of nerve damage. For example, the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy develop slowly and get worse over time. On the other hand, those of acute peripheral neuropathy develop suddenly.

Peripheral neuropathy symptoms may vary depending on which nerves have suffered damage. But some of the common symptoms of many peripheral neuropathies include the following:

  • Tingling, burning, or prickling sensation in the feet, legs, hands, or arms
  • Weakness and numbness in the limbs
  • Inability to feel that something is too hot or too cold
  • Noticing no pain when you step on something sharp
  • Burning or freezing sensation in the hands or feet
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch
  • Extreme sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Sharp, shooting pain in the limbs
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of mobility

This list of peripheral neuropathy symptoms does not include all the signs of nerve damage. Specific types of peripheral neuropathy may have other symptoms that are not on this list. If you notice any of the above symptoms or others, speak to your doctor.

Who Is More Likely to Develop Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy affects between 5 and 8 percent of people in the world.

People of any age can suffer from peripheral neuropathy. But, according to an article in Handbook of Clinical Neurology, older adults are more likely to develop this condition than are younger people.

Also, men are more likely than women to develop almost all types of peripheral neuropathy. There is one exception, though. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women than in men.

Many medical conditions can cause nerve damage. Individuals suffering from a range of conditions may be at a higher risk than others to develop peripheral neuropathy. These include:

  • People who have nerve damage from a previous injury or illness
  • People with diabetes, immune diseases, vitamin deficiencies, or AIDS
  • Alcoholics — according to German researchers, between 22 and 66 percent of people with chronic alcoholism have peripheral neuropathy
  • Cancer patients who had chemotherapy — between 30 and 40 percent of those who have received chemotherapy drugs develop peripheral neuropathy, says the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
  • People who have suffered poisoning from exposure to heavy metals, toxic chemicals, or radiation

Diagnosis

If you are one of the people with an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy, go to the doctor for regular check-ups. Also, speak to your physician if you believe you may have peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Your doctor will examine your symptoms, your posture and coordination, and perform a physical exam. They may ask you about your medical history. Also, you may need to answer questions about your family’s medical history. Your answers may be important, because some types of peripheral neuropathy are hereditary (run in the family).

Your doctor will use this information to assess if you have an increased risk of neuropathy. Then, they might check your reflexes, and your ability to feel temperature and pain.

If necessary, your physician will request a neurological examination, blood and urine tests, as well as other medical exams. These will reveal if you have diabetes, hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies, or other conditions that can cause peripheral neuropathy.

The outcome of these tests will help your doctor discover whether you have a neuropathy. If you do, they’ll try to identify the causes of nerve damage. For this, they might recommend further exams. They may ask for a nerve biopsy (take a sample of nerve tissue to examine), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, or CT (computed tomography) scan.

As you might have realized, diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy is often difficult. Many diseases can affect your nerves and muscles. That’s why your doctor will likely need to collaborate with other specialists to diagnose your condition. So, arm yourself with patience. Be ready to undergo several medical exams before you can receive a diagnosis and treatment for your condition.

Treatment

The treatment options for peripheral neuropathy depend on its cause. Once your doctor diagnoses your condition, they will be able to recommend the appropriate course of treatment. Follow the treatment your doctor prescribes.

The information in this article gives you an idea about what treatments exist.

Addressing the Cause

The therapy for peripheral neuropathy aims to treat the cause of nerve damage. For example, if the cause is a pinched nerve, the doctors may use surgery to release the nerve. Or, if the cause of your peripheral neuropathy is diabetes, your doctor will aim to control it.

As peripheral nerves have the ability to fix themselves, some of the symptoms may disappear following treatment. Or, they may go away on their own.

Not all nerve damage can be undone, though. In some cases the nerve cell is dead, and no treatment can reverse this. Also, unfortunately, some types of peripheral neuropathy have no known cure. This is the case of inherited peripheral neuropathies. It’s also the case of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

This is a common type of neuropathy in America, affecting about one in two people with diabetes. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy can cause pain, sensory loss, foot sores, and gait instability, reducing the quality of life. Though no known treatment can reverse nerve damage due to diabetes, there are treatments that may improve the symptoms. One example is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.  This is a noninvasive intervention (meaning it doesn’t require surgery) that might relieve pain.

Reducing the Symptoms

When doctors can’t treat the cause of peripheral neuropathy, the treatment may focus on managing symptoms. In other words, doctors will recommend methods to reduce specific symptoms.

Different types of damaged nerve require different therapies.

  • For sensory neuropathies, medication might help control chronic pain. Your doctor will recommend appropriate pain-control medication. Examples of drugs for neuropathic pain include steroids, anti-seizure medicines, opioids, and antidepressants.
  • For motor neuropathies, doctors may recommend braces, orthopedic shoes, splints, or other mechanical aids. These aim to improve function, and reduce physical disability and pain. They may also allow the nerves to heal.
  • For autonomic neuropathies, doctors may recommend how to cope with neuropathic pain. Massage, certain medications, and psychotherapy techniques can help you cope with pain.

Not all people need medication for managing their peripheral neuropathy symptoms. On the one hand, pain is not a symptom in all cases, as mentioned earlier. On the other hand, some kind of neuropathic pain can be mild. Your doctor can show you ways to manage it.

When medication to control pain doesn’t work, doctors may recommend surgery. Usually, this works only for mononeuropathy (only one nerve is damaged). For example, pinched nerves usually require surgery. This releases the compression and allows the nerve to heal.

Surgery doesn’t usually work for neuropathies that affect more than one nerve.

Other treatments for peripheral neuropathy can help you manage your symptoms and prevent them from getting worse. One example is physical therapy. It includes exercises to improve the body’s ability to maintain coordination, agility, and balance — or proprioception.

Other treatments include occupational therapy, relaxation therapies, guided imagery, biofeedback, and acupuncture.

Managing Peripheral Neuropathy

For some types of peripheral neuropathy there are no therapies. And some neuropathies have no known cause. So, many people have to live with this condition.

Fortunately, not all types of peripheral neuropathy are crippling, and some symptoms are mild. Also, peripheral nerve cells grow throughout your life. This means that some nerves may regenerate. If they do, symptoms might resolve on their own. Not all symptoms lessen or disappear over time, though.

The goal of managing your peripheral neuropathy should be to maintain and restore the function of your peripheral nervous system. Managing peripheral neuropathy involves making healthy lifestyle choices. It also requires taking preventive measures and focusing on restoring function.

Choosing a Healthy Lifestyle

Making healthy lifestyle choices can improve nerve health, as well as helping you cope with the symptoms of neuropathy. Here are some examples of healthy lifestyle choices you can make:

  • Maintaining an optimal weight
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy metals
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Exercising
  • Using relaxation techniques

Compensating for Loss of Sensation

When you have a neuropathy, you have to do more than lead a healthy lifestyle. Consider taking measures to counteract the loss of sensation that your condition can cause. You need to pay particular attention to your hands and feet. Loss of sensation can make it hard or impossible to notice pain, extreme temperature, or injuries to your hands and feet.

Take measures to prevent injuries that loss of sensation may cause. Here are some of these measures:

  • Wear gloves when you handle heavy equipment, work outdoor, or do repairs
  • Be extra careful when you use sharp objects
  • Avoid extreme temperatures
  • Keep your feet and hands warm in cold weather
  • Use oven gloves when you handle hot dishes or pans
  • Use a water thermometer to check your bath water
  • Choose footwear that fits properly
  • Ask your doctor if they can recommend therapeutic shoes

Also, if you have problems with balance, there are things you can do to prevent falls. For instance:

  • Use a walking cane or another walking device.  Speak to your doctor if you need help choosing the right walking aid.
  • Sit down when you do some activities you would normally perform standing up (like brushing your teeth).
  • Consider installing handrails in your bathroom.

A New Approach to Improving Mobility and Restoring Function

Making lifestyle changes is only one part of managing peripheral neuropathy. You also have to work on maintaining, or restoring, your motor function. People living with peripheral neuropathy often suffer from balance impairment and mobility problems. Improved mobility will allow you to enjoy walking your dog, running, or playing with your grandchildren.

To help stimulate the nerves on the bottom of your foot, you need to do more than just Naboso Insoles Texture 3wear properly fitting footwear. A new option to stimulate your foot’s nerves is to use textured insoles specifically designed to improve movement and function.

Naboso Technology proprioceptive insoles accurately and precisely stimulate the foot’s nervous system. The small nerves on the bottom of your foot are sensitive to different stimuli.

These include vibration, texture, touch, and pressure. The foot’s nerves receive this information and use it to help you maintain balance and posture. They also use it to control your muscles.

However, wearing shoes — even minimal footwear — blocks some of the stimulation the plantar foot receives. This results in a delay in the central nervous system that can affect balance and movement.

But walking barefoot is not always possible. Also, for people suffering from reduced foot sensitivity due to peripheral neuropathy, walking barefoot may increase the risk of injury. That’s why doctors may advise people with neuropathies to avoid walking barefoot, even around the house.

So if you can’t walk barefoot, what can you do to ensure the foot’s peripheral nerves receive proper stimulation? Fortunately, Naboso Technology has developed a solution for this exact problem: textured insoles that you can insert in your everyday footwear.

Research studies have shown the benefit of textured insoles for people with chronic neurological conditions. At Naboso Technology, we have built upon texture research and surface science to create our proprioceptive insoles. These insoles are ideal for people with decreased sensitivity of the feet. Inserting them into properly fitting shoes has been shown to improve posture, balance, and mobility.

The benefits of Naboso Technology insoles for people with peripheral neuropathy include the following:

  • Increased foot stimulation, which increases the sensitivity of the foot
  • Improved gait, which reduces the risk of falls
  • Enhanced peripheral nerve stimulation, which promotes nerve function and regeneration
  • Improved posture and balance, which help you regain your confidence in your ability to walk and stand

The Naboso Technology insoles are a safe and effective way to promote optimal connection between the foot’s nerves and the brain. Therefore, they can play an important role in neuro-rehabilitation programs.

Beside insoles, Naboso Technology material is also integrated into proprioceptive training mats. They can help ensure your foot’s nerves receive proper stimulation when you exercise barefoot.

Maintaining good balance, coordination, and movement is important for everyone. But it’s key to your wellness when you live with peripheral neuropathy. Increased mobility and balance can help you maintain your quality of life.

Conclusion

Damage to peripheral nerves can cause peripheral neuropathy. This is a condition that can affect anyone, though it’s more common in older people. There are many types of peripheral neuropathy. Their symptoms range from mild to severe. Treatment depends on the type of nerve damage. Unfortunately, no known cure exists for some kinds of neuropathies. When doctors can’t find the cause of this condition, therapies aim to ease its symptoms.

Do not let peripheral neuropathy take control of your life. Take measures to manage your condition. Follow your prescribed treatment and make certain lifestyle changes to improve your mobility as well as your foot’s sensitivity. Wearing Naboso Technology insoles in your everyday shoes can improve your balance and stability. With renewed confidence when walking or standing, you’ll be able to continue enjoying your favorite activities and independence.

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series, General

Are you doing short foot correctly? | Clearing the confusion

I think it goes without saying that I have a passion for sharing the power of foot activation and how it fascially connects to central core stabilization.  My go-to for foot activation is none other than – short foot!

Considered by some as merely of foot-specific exercise and not one that is integrated or applicable to total body function, I think it’s time to clear the confusion around this exercise – and foot function in general!

Having taught short foot to professionals, patients and athletes all around the world for over 10 years, I’ve seen it all.   I’ve literally taught short foot to over 25,000 people and have seen every confusion, mis-cueing, compensation pattern and foot type.

Because I understand the power of proper short foot activation, I get a little let’s say passionate when I see and hear professionals cueing short foot incorrectly.

What gets me even more worked up is that those that are cueing short foot incorrectly are professionals who are being followed and trusted as “experts” in the industry.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Having thousands of Instagram followers and posting cool pictures that favor natural foot function does not make one a foot expert.   Yet what these professionals are posting and saying is being taken as gospel, possibly because they are being stated with such confidence it must be correct.  Right?

Sadly most of the posts and statements that are being made are black and white concepts.  The foot is supposed to do X and therefore Y.    I wish it was that easy, but the human body is far too complex to be X = Y.    There is a lot of grey when it comes to programming, cueing and yes – overall foot function.

What is the risk of posting pictures and statements or teaching concepts that are black and white or X = Y?   People can get hurt.   Trust gets broken.   Confusion gets created.

Clearing the Confusion on Short Foot

It’s time to set the record straight.    I”m going to go into the proper way to cue and execute short foot.    My cueing technique is backed by anatomy, science and a deep understanding of true foot function.    No conclusions are being made based off of associations.

Disclaimer:   After reading this, if you realize that have been doing short foot incorrectly. It’s okay!   This is not an attack on anyone or a criticism to any professional out there – even to the ones that are cueing short foot incorrectly.   I just want short foot to be represented in its true form so that we get the optimal benefits and reduce the risk of injury. 

Step 1 – Teach 1 foot at a time. 

I usually cue to go into a split stance so that you can focus on just the front foot initially.

Why we want to teach one foot at a time is that the mind-muscle connection of executing short foot bilateral is too high for many clients.   To start with one foot allows the focus to be centered on a more local foot engagement.

Step 2 – Slightly bend the knees to unlock them 

When we do short foot we create a locking mechanism up the lower extremity.   If you do short foot on a fully extended knee you are essentially locking a locked joint.   This can create shear to the meniscus and create injury to our clients.

As the Hippocratic Oath states “thou shalt do no harm” – so I kindly remind you to slightly bend the knees.

Step 3 – Place the foot in neutral and find the foot tripod

foot-tripod-bottom-points

Ensuring the rear foot is not pronated during short foot is critical – reason being is that a pronated foot is unlocked and unstable with the muscles in a lengthened position.    This makes in ineffective to engage short foot.

After the rear foot is put into a neutral position, then it’s time to find the foot tripod.  This means to center body weight under the 1st metatarsal head, 5th metatarsal head and heel.

Disclaimer: This is NOT to be confused with the foot staying on the tripod throughout the exercise – or to push the tripod down during short foot. 

Step 4 – Lift the toes, spread them out and place them on the ground 

To further complete the base of support and centered foot position we need all digits to be spread wide and long.    We will shortly see that the true action of short foot is in the digits which is why this is going to be an important aspect of the short foot cue.

Step 5 – While exhaling, push the tips of the toes down into the ground 

The true cue for short foot is in the long flexors (FHL, FDL) which insert into the plantar, distal aspect of the toes.   These muscles anchor or root the tips of the toes (think toenails) down into the ground.

img_7139.jpgThe pushing of the distal tips of the toes into the ground not only activates the long flexors but it also engages the plantar fascia via the reverse windlass mechanism.   Both the action of the long flexors and plantar fascia is to increase the arches of the foot (longitudinal and transverse) which ultimately lifts us off of the ball of the foot.

What we should see when we push the tips of the toes down into the ground is that the 1st metatarsal head lifts off of the ground.

Now to be clear, I don’t want YOU to lift the 1st metatarsal head off of the ground – I want it to be a reaction of the contraction.

If YOU lift the 1st metatarsal head off of the ground, chances are you are going to over engage short foot and can create too much hypertonicity.

Now this is where the cueing goes wrong!

Many – I repeat – many professionals are cueing short foot as pushing the 1st metatarsal head down into the ground.   This is wrong.  This is incorrect.  This does not transverse to function.   This is a literal translation of the foot tripod and a gross misrepresentation of true function of the foot.    (More on this soon!)

Step 6 – Incorporate the pelvic floor 

The final step we want to integrate with short foot is the deep core.   To be truly integrated we need the entire Deep Front Line to be a part of this short foot exercise.  This means that as we exhale, we want to focus on lifting our pelvic floor and pushing the tips of our toes down into the ground.

The result?

All of the central domes in our body stack.   The arch, the pelvic floor, the diaphragm – and technically our palate all lift during activation.

Clearing the Confusion! 

So now that we know the proper way to cue short foot.   It’s time to clear the confusion how short foot.   The most common incorrect cue that I hear is pushing the 1st metatarsal head down as the activation.

I am not sure who started this trend but it is wrong.

Yes we do start by finding our foot tripod – but that doesn’t mean we should literally push into the foot tripod as the form of foot activation for foot stability.

DFL

So why not?     We need to defend our reason of why not!

Answer #1 –  Deep Front Line.    

Short Foot is a Deep Front Line activation.  Remember the true purpose of activating our feet is to get them to “talk to” our core or center.

If we look at the Deep Front Line, the muscles of the feet that we see are the Flexor Hallucis Longus, Flexor Digitorum Longus, Posterior Tibialis and Anterior Tibialis.

As mentioned earlier, the cueing I use for short foot is to push the tips of the toes down into the ground.  The reason?  Because this is the action of the flexors!

When we push the 1st metatarsal down into the ground we are activating the peroneus longus muscle.

Do you see that muscle in the Deep Front Line?   I don’t either!

Answer #2 – 1st Ray Plantarflexion & the 1st MPJ

To further understand the purpose of 1st metatarsal plantar flexion (or pushing the 1st met down) we need to understand the true functional reason behind this action.

When does our 1st metatarsal FUNCTIONALLY want to plantar flex?

During push-off!

The action of 1st metatarsal plantar flexion is to allow the 1st MPJ to dorsiflexion – an action that occurs during push-off.   When we take a step, run or jump our great toe dorsiflexes to create a rigid lever for forward (or vertical) progression.

I did a whole blog series on the 1st MPJ where I went into the actions of slide, glide and jam but essentially one of the most critical steps in dorsiflexion of the big toe is 1st metatarsal plantar flexion.    However.   We must pause there.   This 1st metatarsal plantar flexion is actually not DOWN but rather it is BEHIND us.

1st mpj

 

If you see in the image to the right, 1st metatarsal plantar flexion is actual BEHIND us as
we shift our COG forward, this is how we truly dorsiflex the great toe.

How does this relate back to short foot?  This means that to train the 1st metatarsal to literally push down into the ground has no true functional transfer.

Answer #3 – Sesamoids 

The final reason of why I do not cue pushing the 1st metatarsal head down has to do with the sesamoids.   The sesamoids are two small bones that sit within the Flexor Hallucis Brevis tendons and sit directly under the 1st metatarsal head.

Like the patella (knee cap) the sesamoids are not intended to be passive weight bearing bones but rather ones that transfer force during functional movement.

sesamoidThe image to the left shows that the sesamoids are the lowest bones in the foot and if there is intentional 1st met plantarflexion into the ground (due to a miscue of short foot) then there is increased force to these small bones.

This can greatly increase the chance for sesamoiditis and sesamoid fractures – two conditions that are a b*#! to treat.

In addition, some of the clients and patients being cued to push down into their 1st metatarsal head during short foot may actually have a functional plantarflexed first ray which can be exacerbated with improper short foot cueing.   The negative impact of a plantar flexed 1st metatarsal (ray) is functional hallux limitus, which can lead to a myriad of compensation patterns during walking.

Did I confuse you more?

If the above was a little like “what the hell is she talking about” then good!   This is is how confusing the foot is!

It is not black and white.   It is not X = Y.

It is grey with a lot of exceptions with any cue or exercise.   This is why I created the Barefoot Training Specialist® Certification and have trained a very niche group of qualified Master Instructors under EBFA Global.

Are you more of an auditory learner?

Tune in below for a video summary I did on this exact topic.

Still confused?    Email me!     dremily@ebfafitness.com

In summary, honor the power of the foot.   Consider who you are using as your sources.   Ask questions.   And don’t take anything anyone says as gospel.   Ask for the WHY?

Stay #barefootstrong

Dr Emily Splichal, DPM, MS, CES

 

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Tapping into Torsion | The Rotational Power of the Achilles Tendon

Power lies within the transverse plane.

We have all heard this concept at one point or another throughout our education or training career.  

javelinFrom the rotational moment of the trunk to generate power when throwing a javelin to the torque created from supination of the foot into the external rotational power of the glutes – rotational moments are in every aspect of human movement. 

The closer we look at the fascinating human body and the fascial system, the more we can find that spirals and rotations are everything and EVERYWHERE!

I want to take this time to explore an area of the body where rotational or spiraling properties are often under appreciated or perhaps not even know – within the human Achilles tendon.  

The Achilles Tendon

Enter the largest, strongest tendon in the human body – the Achilles tendon.   Formed by the gastrocnemius and soleus tendons (and sometimes plantaris), this fascinating structure is able to generate most of the elastic energy return during dynamic movement and from an evolutionary perspective is a critical structure in the spring-mass theory of movement efficiency. 

Now there are a few unique characteristics of the Achilles tendon that must be Achilles Rotationappreciated when training or rehabbing this structure.  All of these characteristics are emphasized in all trainings through EBFA Global:

  • The Achilles tendon is not one tendon but rather a stacked tendon 
  • 2/3 of the Achilles tendon is made of soleus fibers 
  • The Achilles tendon medially rotates toward its insertion
  • This rotation places the soleus fibers to the medial calcaneus 
  • While the MG / LG insert towards the lateral calcaneus

How cool are these facts?   But what does the above functionally mean?  

Functional Application #1 – Soleus Equals Power 

Since 2/3 of the Achilles tendon is soleus fibers this means that most of our elastic recoil and plantarflexion torque is coming from the fascial tension and loading of the soleus muscle and fascia.   

When you are training the elastic recoil of the Achilles tendon remember to incorporate soleus focused eccentric deceleration and acceleration training while the knee is bent or while transitioning through a knee flexion pattern.  

Functional Application #2 – Resupination of the Foot through Plantarflexion

The rotation or torsion of the Achilles tendon provides increased tensile strength IMG_9349and assists in fiber sliding during elastic movement.    In addition, due to the placement of the soleus fibers of the Achilles tendon plays a key role in thresupination action of the rearfoot during the push-off phase of gait.

This coupled concept means that when training jumping and push-off power drills emphasize a from the ground up approach the utilizes total ankle plantarflexion.   In EBFA Education we do this through teaching jumping by pushing off all 5 digits and envisioning a follow through with all digits (see image to the right) 

Functional Application #3 – Restriction of Blood Supply 

I must add that as much as torsion adds a rotational power to the Achilles tendon,  there can be a downside to this feature.   This rotation of the Achilles tendon fibers causes a disruption to the micro-circulation or blood supply to the Achille tendon. 

The area with the greatest compromise in circulation is called the watershed area and lies 2 – 6 cm above the Achilles insertion.   The mid-tendon or watershed area is the site of most Achilles tendon ruptures (especially as we age) and is the location of tendon degeneration.   

By appreciating this compromised Achilles circulation, professionals should ensurefullsizeoutput_1805 to properly warm up the elastic properties to the Achilles tendon and in those with a history of mid-tendon tendinitis to avoid movement patterns that increase stress to the watershed area of the tendon.   

In my office, I use the PowerPlate to increase micro-circulation to the Achilles tendon in my patients with a history of Achilles injury or degeneration.   Research has shown that 10 min of whole body vibration can create increased skin perfusion and decrease arterial resistance, both beneficial to tissue healing.   

Functional Application #5 – Non-Uniform Achilles Stress by Pronation

The non-uniform division of the Achilles tendon fibers with 2/3 being soleus, coupled with medial rotation of the tendon fibers there is a non-uniform stress placed on the Achilles tendon.  

Gils et al. has demonstrated that the soleus fibers are under the greatest stress with most Achilles tendon pathology occurring to the medial aspect of the tendon.   It was found that pronation increased this non-uniform stress to the soleus tendon fibers especially during the midstance phase of gait.  

Professionals who appreciate this concept can better assess how foot type and/ or a lack of foot stability can contribute to Achilles tendon pathology.    Foot strengthening and in some cases orthotics may be advisable for the prevention and management of medial Achilles tendon stress.  

To learn more about the fascinating functional foot please visit www.ebfaglobal.com or check out my book Barefoot Strong.    

Until next time, stay #barefootstrong 

Dr Emily 

www.dremilysplichal.com

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Barefoot Science, Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Feet, Fascia & Functional Movement Summit | London

Get ready for the first-ever Feet, Fascia and Functional Movement Summit coming to London on Sunday January 21, 2018!

As part of the EBFA Global Mentorship this one-day event features the global leaders in fascial fitness and functional movement including:

Dr Robert Schleip (via teleconference) of Fascial Fitness

Gary Ward of Anatomy in Motion

–  James Earls of Born to Walk

Dr Emily Splichal of EBFA Global

Experience lectures on the unique perspectives of these four educators and how each applies the concept of fascial integration into functional movement and human locomotion.

Let’s say hello to our Presenters!

 

Don’t miss out on this invaluable training!

Sunday January 21, 2018  | 8am – 6pm

GRANGE HOLBORN HOTEL
50-60 Southhampton Row
London, UK

Registration Fee: $300 USD

REGISTER NOW!!

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Protect Your Peripheral Nerves | Top 5 Supplements for Optimal Foot Function

We all know that keeping our feet strong is key to proper posture, optimal movement patterns and staying pain-free as we age.   In my workshops I’m a huge advocate of Barefoot BabyBoomers and keeping barefoot stimulation a key part of our lifestyle.   However to truly stay #barefootstrong as we age we need to do a little more than simply train sans footwear.

Biohacking Your Barefeet 

With changing nutritional values, toxins in our food and combating everyday stress we no longer can rely on diet and exercise to ensure our youngest, healthiest selves.   This is where I advise my patients to turn to vitamin supplementation and simple ways to #biohackthebody.

Below are some of my favorite supplements that are all designed to enhance nerve function, reduce inflammation and combat free radicals before they damage our peripheral nerves and fascial network.

Supplement #1 – Wild Blueberry Extract 

IMG_4214You may have heard that blueberries are brain food.    What makes blueberries so beneficial is that they are packed with polyphenols or compounds unique to plants.   Polyphenols which can also be found in coffee, dark chocolate and spices carry some of the strongest anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2004 study by Youdim et al. found that wild blueberry supplementation enhanced neurogenesis in the aging brain with their flavonoids being able to cross the blood brain barrier.  Now you may have been told that we do not grow new brain cells or our peripheral nerves cannot regenerate – this is not true!   The research in the field of  neurogenesis is a super exciting area of medicine and is showing some exciting advances in aging, neuropathy and neurodegenerative diseases.

To maximize the benefits of blueberry polyphenols I recommend taking wild blueberry extract daily to avoid the excess sugars of eating so many blueberries daily.   Also make sure the blueberries are *wild* as these contain the highest levels of polyphenols!

Recommended Life Extension Wild Blueberry Extract

Supplement #2 – Krill Oil 

krillThis is one of my newest fav supplements for my patients.   Krill oil is similar to fish oil supplements in that they are packed with beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA).  However unlike fish oils, krill oil phospholipids have a special carotenoid called astaxanthin attached to it.   Astaxanthin is an extremely powerful antioxidant that – get this – can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB)!   This makes Krill Oil so powerful to maintaining nerve function.

In addition to crossing the BBB omega 3’s have such a powerful anti-inflammatory benefit that they make a great replacement or alternative to traditional NSAIDs such as Advil, Aspirin or Aleve.    These anti-inflammatory benefits have shown to reduce arthritis pain, nerve inflammation and connective tissue pain.

Recommended Dr Mercola Antartica Krill Oil 

Supplement #3 – R-Lipoic Acid

This was one of my favorite supplements when I was going through medical school and was a big forerunner when it came to anti-aging supplements.   It’s great to see that it is still one of the strongest anti-oxidants on the market – and has actually been formulated to be even more powerful when taken in its sodium-R-lipoate form!

Neuropathy has a oxidative stress theory which means that to keep the nerves of the feet (and hands) healthy we need to keep our oxidative stress low!   Super R-Lipoic Acid is more bioavailable, stable, and potent, achieving 10–30 times higher peak blood levels than pure R-lipoic acid.

I also recommend taking R-lipoic acid with the next supplement and nerve-protective powerhouse ALC!

Recommended Life Extension Super R-Lipoic Acid 

Supplement # 4 – Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) 

ALC is another favorite supplement when I was going through medical school and doing research in diabetic peripheral neuropathy.    Again super excited to see it’s still one of the best nerve-protective supplements on the market.

ALC like all of the above supplements has the unique ability to cross the BBB which means it’s crucial to nervous system health.   Studies have shown that ALC may have potential in exerting unique neuroprotective, neuromodulatory and neurotrophic properties that are not limited to just the central nervous system.   Study after study has shown great effects of ALC on peripheral neuropathy patients.

Recommended Life Extension Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Supplement #5 – L-Cittruline (Watermelon) 

aterWatermelon is one of my favorite pre-workout drinks due to its effect on vasodilation and circulation!  The vasodilation effect of watermelon is found in the amino acid L-Citruline which is a precursor to nitric oxide (think Viagra!).

Nitric oxide is integral to relaxing blood vessels which is necessary for healthy blood flow to the heart, muscles, nerves and throughout the entire body.  Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels maintain their flexibility so that blood flow is unrestricted – even to the smallest vessels to the peripheral nerves.

To get enough L-Citrulline for optimal circulation you’d need to eat 6 cups of watermelon or you can cut out the sugar and take a supplement.    Amino acids are always recommended to take on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.

Recommended Source Naturals L-Citrulline 

To learn more about how to protect your nervous system from inflammation and oxidation and how to #biohackyourbody please visit http://www.dremilysplichal.com

Stay #barefootstrong !

Dr Emily Splichal

 

 

 

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