How You Can Support Nerve Health

You have your nervous system to thank for your ability to interact and connect with the world around you. That’s because it controls a wide range of bodily activities, from voluntary and involuntary functions — like balance, movement, blood pressure, and blood flow — to sensations, like touch, taste, and smell. It’s also responsible for your ability to think, speak, and remember.

At the heart of it all is the central nervous system: your brain and spinal cord. It’s connected to the rest of your body by an intricate roadmap of nerve cells. These nerves (collectively called your peripheral nervous system) carry messages back and forth like a communication superhighway. Unfortunately, these nerves can also sustain damage, which throws off this delicate balance.

Common causes of nerve disorders include:

As an experienced orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Edward Dupay Jr., offers numerous treatments for nerve issues, like hand surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, at Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida. While you can’t avoid all forms of nerve damage, there are steps you can take to support your nerve health.

Stretch

Whether you find yourself under a lot of stress or sitting in the same position at your desk for hour after hour, stopping and taking time to stretch can do wonders for your nerves. 

Gentle stretching produces a sense of well-being by keeping cortisol levels low, but the benefits for your nerves don’t stop there. Stretching also eases pressure on the body from repetitive stress, which can lead to nerve inflammation, constriction, and damage.

Adding light stretching to your day can help increase your mobility, circulation, and mental health while supporting your nerves at the same time.

Exercise

Exercise is good for more than your waistline; it’s good for your nerves, too. Engaging in regular physical activity helps manage your weight and blood sugar levels, and reduces pressure on peripheral blood vessels in your arms, hands, legs, and feet.

If you’re new to exercise, start slowly and ask Dr. Dupay for recommendations based on your overall health and wellness. 

Eat right

If you’ve been looking for reasons to improve your diet, do it for your nerves. 

Without the right nutrients, your nerves can’t do their jobs. For the best results, try consuming:

Remember to eat healthy fats, like nuts, avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, and ghee (clarified butter). These types of fat help support the myelin sheath — the protective coating around your nerves. 

You can also protect myelin by eating more vitamin B12, found in foods like eggs, seafood, poultry, and beef. Other B vitamins contribute to healthy nerves, and are found in a variety of foods like legumes, leafy greens, seeds, milk, poultry, beef, seafood, and fortified cereals.

Foods to avoid for good nerve health are the same ones to limit on any healthy eating plan: alcohol, salt, sugar, and processed foods. And avoid trans fats completely.

For more tips on supporting your nerve health, contact our office in Fort Myers, Florida, to schedule an appointment by calling 239-768-2272.

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