Diabetic peripheral neuropathy and exercise

Jennifer M. Yentes, Karen L. Perell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diabetes mellitus is the primary cause of peripheral neuropathy in the United States. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy has been suggested as the most important pathological precursor in the development of skin plantar ulceration. Muscle atrophy, abnormal plantar pressure distribution, and gait deficits are affected by neuropathy. This review explores the musculoskeletal complications of neuropathy as well as the beneficial effects of exercise on muscle atrophy, plantar pressures, and gait deficits. Exercise has been shown to demonstrate improvement in all three of these areas, although, the effect of exercise on neuropathy itself has yet to be thoroughly examined. Much care and consideration should be given when administering an exercise protocol to an individual with neuropathy. Future research should focus on behavior modification, exercise adherence, and establishing appropriate guidelines for exercise prescriptions for individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Kinesiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Exercise
  • Neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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