How Diabetics Can Improve Foot Problems With Outpatient Physical Therapy

If you've just been diagnosed with diabetes, one of the symptoms that you may be having is foot pain. Diabetes can cause both peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy. PAD is a circulatory disorder that reduces blood flow to limbs, like your feet, while peripheral neuropathy can cause numbness, weakness, and pins-and-needle sensations due to nerve damage.

It's vital that you take care of these problems before they escalate. Read on to learn why proper care is important and how outpatient physical therapy can help.

PAD and Neuropathy Make It Easier for Infections to Take Hold

While PAD and neuropathy may cause uncomfortable sensations in your feet, they can also cause numbness to certain pain sensations. You may also not be able to feel changes in very hot or cold temperatures.

Because these conditions can damage your nerves, you could accidentally injure your foot without knowing it. And conditions like PAD also put you at risk for sores and ulceration on your toes and feet. If these kinds of infections aren't taken care of, the removal of muscle tissue may be necessary; in severe cases, amputation may be required!

Since you obviously don't want PAD and neuropathy to become this severe, it's in your best interest to look into some physical therapy.

Why Does Outpatient Physical Therapy Help?

While inpatient physical therapy is for those being treated at a hospital, outpatient physical therapy is for those healthy enough to be back at home. Since you don't want your condition to warrant an expensive hospital stay, outpatient physical therapy is perfect since you can manage your condition on your timetable.

Physical therapy has enormous benefits for diabetic patients. Not only will you be able to lessen your foot pain, but you will be able to control your blood sugar with any exercises that are prescribed to you. The American Diabetes Association says that when you exercise, your body's cells work more efficiently to remove glucose. So you may be able to take less insulin or pills if your doctor sees progress with your activity levels. When your blood sugar levels are being managed, you will be less likely to experience symptoms of PAD or neuropathy.

Your physical therapist may also teach you how to take care of your feet so that you can avoid any surprise infections. He or she will help you improve your range of motion and strengthen your ankle and foot muscles. If your PAD or neuropathy have gotten very bad, then you may need to learn how stand and walk properly without pain. Physical therapists can use gait training to teach you how to traverse difficult surfaces that in the past may have caused pain to your feet.

Talk with your doctor or physical therapist for more information on how to improve your diabetic symptoms. You can also visit websites like