Min Yoo, Neena Sharma, Mamatha Pasnoor and Patricia M Kluding
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a frequent complication of diabetes and a major cause of morbidity and increased mortality. It is typically characterized by significant deficits in tactile sensitivity, vibration sense, lower-limb proprioception, and kinesthesia. Painful diabetic neuropathy (P-DPN) is a common phenotype of DPN that affects up to one-third of the general diabetic population. P-DPN has been shown to be associated with significant reductions in overall quality of life, increased levels of anxiety and depression, sleep impairment, and greater gait variability. The purpose of this review is to examine proposed mechanisms of P-DPN, summarize current treatment regimen, and assess exercise as a potential therapy for P-PDN.
Although exercise has been shown to be an effective therapeutic modality for diabetes, its specific effects on DPN and especially the painful phenotype have not been sufficiently investigated in current literature. Several rodent models and clinical trials have presented promising results in this area, and warrant further investigations examining the effect of exercise on P-DPN.