If you're affected by type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you will know that the condition is an incurable inconvenience. Living with diabetes is all about managing the condition. Of course, your doctor is probably your number one medical professional when it comes to managing your diabetes. They are not, however, the only medical professional who can help. There are some instances when you might want to consider physiotherapy. But when would this be necessary? And how can a physiotherapist assist you in managing your diabetes?
When Diabetes Progresses
It's not an automatic case of being referred to a physiotherapist the moment your diabetes is diagnosed. Physiotherapy is more of assistance when the condition progresses, essentially adding another layer of treatment to manage your diabetes. It might be that your doctor will refer you if they believe that it will beneficial, but you shouldn't be afraid to ask for a referral if you feel that your condition has progressed to the point where your hands and feet are overly affected.
Being Affected by Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is a blanket term that refers to nerve damage caused by your diabetes. You might not even know that diabetic neuropathy will affect you until your doctor picks it up in a routine screening (at which point they might refer you to a physiotherapist). You might also notice an ongoing numbness or tingling in your hands and feet.
Managing the Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy
Through restricted exercise (wherein the physiotherapist controls the movement of your body), physical manipulation of the affected extremities, and even massage, sessions with a physiotherapist offer an appropriate stimulation of the nerves in question, effectively making your diabetic neuropathy easier to manage. The sessions can reduce discomfort and assist you in regaining mobility if your feet are particularly affected.
An Additional Plan of Attack
While your doctor will of course have given you a number of diet and lifestyle tips for managing your diabetes, the physicality of your sessions with a physiotherapist can give you additional support in this department. They will be able to gauge your physical capabilities and develop an exercise plan for you to follow at home. This will stimulate your affected nerves, thus assisting in managing your diabetic neuropathy, but it can also help you to reduce your body fat, in turn improving how your body processes glucose.
So while physiotherapy is not a cure for diabetes, there are some instances when sessions can make the condition far more manageable. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor if you think physiotherapy could be of benefit to you.