Is Physical Therapy the Missing Link in Diabetes Treatments?

Diabetes awareness month is an opportune time to brush up on some basic facts about this condition, while also learning how supplementary treatments can help patients manage it. The following information may be useful if you or someone you know is diabetic.

Who Does Diabetes Affect?

Diabetes is a fairly widespread illness. According to the CDC, upwards of 100 million Americans currently have diabetes or are prediabetic.

The condition is divided into separate types. Type 1 diabetes is likely an autoimmune disorder. Experts theorize that the immune system mistakenly attacks cells that are supposed to produce insulin. This type of diabetes most commonly develops during childhood.

Type 2 diabetes, which may develop at any stage in life, occurs when cells become insulin-resistant. The pancreas is unable to produce sufficient amounts of insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels.

Another form of diabetes, gestational diabetes, only develops in women during pregnancy.

Managing Diabetes

Treatment plans for this condition vary on a patient-by-patient basis. Because diabetes can affect the body in numerous potential ways, it’s important for diabetic patients to coordinate with their physicians. A doctor will design the right treatment plan for each individual patient. That said, treatment generally involves monitoring blood sugar levels and taking medication.

However, patients often experience better results when they supplement these methods with additional resources. Diabetes Awareness Month is a popular time of year to learn more about other forms of treatment for diabetics. Physical therapy for diabetes, for example, can be very helpful.

That’s because chronic pain is often a symptom of this illness. By practicing physical therapy exercises for diabetes, patients can learn to move more comfortably and safely when performing daily tasks.

Diabetes and Physical Therapy

When it comes to physical therapy and diabetes, the additional exercises can also help patients restore strength. This is particularly important for older diabetic patients, who often experience weakness as a symptom of the condition. This weakness can cause balance problems over time. With physical therapy for diabetes, expertes help patients improve their strength and learn to maintain their balance. This guards against injuries from falls.

It’s also worth noting that staying active helps the body regulate blood glucose levels. Diabetes and physical therapy are connected in this respect because practicing effective but safe exercises can lead to better glucose regulation.

Physical therapists are another set of eyes on your feet and can help recognize new sores in addition to aiding in healing of older sores. Physical therapists can apply different types of bandages, dressings, and treatments to help sores heal faster.

Additionally, physical therapists are uniquely qualified to identify how items like footwear may impact a diabetic’s comfort and overall safety when engaging in basic activities like walking. They can suggest or provide additional products to boost comfort and safety.

It’s very important for diabetics to stick to the treatment plans outlined by their doctors. That said, it’s also important to not overlook the link between diabetes and physical therapy. Again, it doesn’t have to be Diabetes Awareness Month to learn more about how certain physical therapy exercises for diabetes can benefit your daily routine.

To find a physical therapist near you that can develop an exercise plan specific to your diabetes, use the BetterPT website or BetterPT app. By monitoring your condition, taking all prescribed medications, and working with a physical therapist, you can enjoy an active, healthy life.

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