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Ask an Exercise Physiologist: Box jumps and tingling toes

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Ask an EP is here to help with all your health and wellness questions and challenges: Lifestyle. Wellness. Pain. Health.

Do you have a burning health and wellness question?

Now is your chance. Every week we will pick a couple of questions, and help you solve your burning query.  If we share our problems, we are more likely to solve them.

Let’s get started.

Hi Kirra, I often get pins and needles in my toes when walking and it drives me insane!

It’s pretty severe—more than your average tingle, anyway. I’ve heard some girlfriends get the same but none of us know why. I wear good quality walking shoes.

– Georgia, 29

Hey there Georgia,

How annoying are pins and needles! Are you getting the peripheral neuropathy only when you are walking? Does is happen at different speeds? Have you tried changing the walking surface, which will put less pressure on your nerves? Attempt a soft grass, gravel, or off-road path. There are plenty of beautiful reserves around Canberra!

If you can manage to de-load the pressure which is causing the compression on the nerves, this may resolve the pins and needles. Have you had your lower limb strength tested? The stronger your musculoskeletal system, the less pressure on your nerves. Potentially wearing compression socks (flight socks) could help with your circulation.

There are five stages of peripheral neuropathy; you’re currently in stage one. Let’s not get to a stage where you have constant numbness (stage 4), and total loss of feeling (stage 5)

Pins and needles can also be an inflammatory indicator. I’d advise seeing your GP to rule out any nasties (full blood count, iron zinc, mg, hormones, etc). Get them to test your Vitamin B12 levels too!

In the meantime, why don’t you walk at your local pool?  Or join us at Capital Hydrotherapy for some Deep-Water Running classes! Some nerve fibres can slowly regenerate if the nerve cell itself is still alive, which will prevent future nerve damage.

A great way to keep fit and get your body stronger without the neuropathic pain.

Don’t give up on your wellness—we just need to find a type of activity that works for YOU.

I love doing HIIT workouts that involve a lot of jumping, but I often find my knees feeling less than ideal afterwards!

What are your top tips for keeping knees from feeling achy? 

– Katie, 28

Hi Katie,

HIIT training has so many physiological benefits!! The only catch with HIIT training is it’s advised to have a base level of strength before you start jumping and doing fun, single-leg plyometrics type movements.

Make sure you let your instructor know your knees get sore—as they should have another option for you (if they are a good instructor!).

Have you had an allied health professional assess your jumping and landing gait? Assessing your single-leg stability and functional strength would be wise too. That should be first on your agenda.

Ask the allied health professional to assess not only your foot-knee-hip alignment but also your calf, hamstring and quad strength, and mobility (comparing left to right and which muscle group is weakest/tightest).

Often you find weakness and instabilities on the opposite side of where the pain is coming from. If you’re having pain in both knees, you may find even weaknesses in both muscle groups.

Your knee joints are being loaded too much, and we need to find where the weakness is originating. I’d also recommend assessing your glute and lumbar spine strength.

Finally, what is your recovery and warm down like after HIIT? Do you go straight into office work? Make sure you spend at least 10-15 minutes after the session stretching and gentle active mobility exercises. Even a 10-minute walk/jog after HIIT training can be beneficial.

A regular sports massage will help too (great excuse to chill the beans for an hour!)—or if cashola is an issue, there are plenty of self-massage videos on YouTube. You are welcome to privately message me if any of the above doesn’t help!

Great questions everyone. I’ll answer more next week.

Want to ask your own question?

We are all better together! Do you have a burning health and wellness question?

Fill out our Google Form, or email us your health and wellbeing questions, to either: editor@hercanberra.com.au or kirra@capitalhydrotherapy.com.au.

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