Effect of aerobic exercise on peripheral nerve functions of population with diabetic peripheral neuropathy in type 2 diabetes: a single blind, parallel group randomized controlled trial

J Diabetes Complications. May-Jun 2014;28(3):332-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2013.12.006. Epub 2013 Dec 27.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (40%-60% of Heart Rate Reserve (HRR)) on diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Methods: A parallel-group, randomized controlled trial was carried out in a tertiary health care setting, India. The study comprised of experimental (moderate intensity aerobic exercise and standard care) and control groups (standard care). Population with type 2 diabetes with clinical neuropathy, defined as a minimum score of seven on the Michigan Diabetic Neuropathy Score (MDNS), was randomly assigned to experimental and control groups by computer generated random number tables. RANOVA was used for data analysis (p<0.05 was significant).

Results: A total of 87 patients with DPN were evaluated in the study. After randomization there were 47 patients in the control group and 40 patients in the experimental group. A comparison of two groups using RANOVA for anthropometric measures showed an insignificant change at eight weeks. For distal peroneal nerve's conduction velocity there was a significant difference in two groups at eight weeks (p<0.05), Degrees of freedom (Df)=1, 62, F=5.14, and p=0.03. Sural sensory nerve at eight weeks showed a significant difference in two groups for conduction velocity, Df =1, 60, F=10.16, and p=0.00. Significant differences in mean scores of MDNS were also observed in the two groups at eight weeks (p value significant<0.05).

Conclusion: Moderate intensity aerobic exercises can play a valuable role to disrupt the normal progression of DPN in type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: Aerobic adaptations; Exercise; Nerve functions; Neuropathy; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sural Nerve / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome