Monday, December 18, 2017

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Managing Diabetes

Aside from insulin regulation, diabetes is often treated in two primary ways: through diet and physical movement. Although exercise can help in managing the condition, for many, physical therapy offers a more attainable and beneficial treatment in the following ways.

Increased Mobility 

Diabetes can often affect one's mobility. When serious, it can become debilitating; therefore, it's important to address it through physical therapy. Physical therapists will find the right activities to restore normal movement, and will know how to start with small movements before advancing to more active exercises. These exercises and movements can be practiced and performed on one's own time, restoring mobility over time.

Image of an injured knee Stamina and Endurance

Those with diabetes may be frustrated with low levels of stamina and endurance, but this is something that benefits from being developed slowly over time. Skilled physical therapists can help to set the right pace to address inactivity, slowly increasing endurance and stamina that can add ease to everyday tasks.

Blood Glucose Levels

Once stamina, mobility, and endurance are increased, physical therapy allows patients to engage in more movement and activity on a daily basis. Such movement has been found to reduce blood glucose levels, and physical therapists can prescribe specific exercise programs that are tailored to a patient's abilities every step of the way.

Strength and Balance for Everyday Tasks

Although movement and stamina are undoubtedly important, without enough muscle strength and balance, it can still be difficult to complete everyday tasks. This can restore independence and allow for increased home exercise for further progress. Many patients may also benefit from occupational therapy.

Reducing Pain

Diabetes often comes with chronic pain that is difficult to ameliorate through medication alone. Physical therapists can use treatments and technologies that can control and even reduce pain. This can include teaching how to make areas affected by diabetic nerve pain, or neuropathy, less sensitive to pain.

Healing from Surgery

Physical therapists are skilled in helping patients heal from all kinds of surgery. In some cases of diabetes, amputation is a way to address limbs that have become too damaged by high blood glucose levels, but the procedure doesn't mean an end in all mobility. Physical therapists can help manage pain, speed healing, and increase physical activity after a surgery.

Physical therapy is not simply for those healing or born with a disability. Over time, the process can increase strength and decrease pain, improving living conditions as each day passes. If you need physical therapy to help manage your diabetes, learn how Midlothian Healthcare Center can help.