A Device That Helps People With Neuropathy Restore Balance And Mobility

Because it is Peripheral Neuropathy Awareness Week (May 7-13), this article is about a device people with neuropathy may not be aware of—a device that could help them walk more securely.

The Problem

To step securely the brain needs input from our eyes, memory, sense of balance, and the nerves in our feet. With peripheral neuropathy (PN), sensation in our feet may be diminished or lost, so the brain doesn't receive all the information required for confident, safe walking.

With our ability to walk impaired, there is increased risk for falling, and for the development of sores and ulcers. To help alleviate these problems the WalkJoy - a medical biofeedback device that is placed around each knee - was created.

A Solution

The WalkJoy, cleared by the FDA, serves as a substitute for damaged nerves in the feet. As a person walks, the device sends vibrations at each heel strike to healthy nerves just below the knees. These nerves, unaffected by PN, transfer information directly to the brain, replacing the lost foot-generated signals.

The nerve messages created by WalkJoy reportedly allow the brain to react as if sensation in the feet were normal, enhancing the body’s sense of movement and position. New users generally notice balance, and gait improvements after taking only 50 steps with the device. After a few weeks, they typically enjoy increased activity levels and renewed strength.

Each device houses a tiny computer with sensors that determine the velocity and angle of leg movements and can measure walking improvements. It stores this information so it can be shared with a doctor or therapist who can then provide patients with printed reports.

WalkJoys work quietly, and though users are aware of its knee vibrations at first, they report the sensation becomes familiar and hardly noticeable with continued use.

More Stable and In Control

Becoming more sedentary because of PN can start a cascade of problems including muscle weakness, diminished range of motion, decreased bone density, and less independent mobility, increasing the chances of isolation, pressure sores, and falling.

So, while the WalkJoy may not help everyone wax more mobile, giving it a try is worth considering—and it’s “free” in two ways. First, the device is worn externally and is drug-free. Second, it’s available for a free 10-day trial.

What a difference they make!  I wear the WalkJoy units nearly full time.  When walking I am able to increase my stride and speed, and I feel more stable and in control. I walk several miles a day for exercise, and my neighbors have commented on my improved mobility. ~ Lee M., an 80-year-old WalkJoy user

The WalkJoy does require a prescription and only helps individuals who still have feeling just beneath their knees. The device does not alleviate pain and is not suitable for neuropathy owed to spinal cord injury. For more information visit the website (link below), or call 855-WALKJOY (925-5569).

Sources: Foundation For Peripheral Neuropathy, WalkJoy
Photo: Pexels

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

Eleven Clinical Studies

After eleven clinical studies and 300,000 participants, researcher Vasanti Malik and her team of researchers...

Diabetic women often have a harder time losing weight than non-diabetic women. A study funded by Jenny Craig proved that diabetic women have an...

Many recent studies have proved that magnesium levels are lower in patients with diabetes than in non-diabetics. This magnesium...

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a problem that affects many diabetics, especially those with type 2 diabetes...

Some of us might be thrilled if we could manage our blood sugar by sitting in a hot tub or sauna, instead of working up a sweat biking, or using...

More Articles

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

When it comes to certain foods, there are always questions as to whether or not a diabetic can have them without...

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns.

The...

According to information available through the National Institutes of Health, there’s an estimated 462 million people in the world who are...

Salads are good example of foods that type 2 diabetics can enjoy with relatively low guilt. With the right greens and other elements added, salad...

Remaining gainfully employed is important to many people. Those who live with any form of diabetes may find that some lines of work are more...

Learning that you have diabetes does mean making some lifestyle changes. One of the areas that needs attention is your diet. Most people find that...

One of the more challenging aspects of life as a type 2 diabetic is managing your diet. There’s often the temptation to avoid certain foods...

The green, heavily ridged acorn squash is plentiful in the marketplace this time of year. Though, Acorn squash has a high glycemic index rank of...

A 1300-Calorie diet is a way of eating that limits your daily calorie intake to only 1300 calories a day. This is considered a low calorie diet,...

Maca Root is an editable root vegetable, and is known as Peruvian Ginsing. It is a relative of the radish and turnip family, and is remarkable...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

People who use insulin pumps purposefully break their skin, the body’s main defense against bacteria, to receive continuous doses of life-saving...

It’s only been recently that doctors, including endocrinologists, have realized the starring role gut microbes play in our health. The unique...