When we are living with a certain injury or condition, we have to remember that there is a cause and effect action with most activities we try to do. For example, if you have had foot surgery, but get impatient and put weight on your foot too quickly, you could compromise the healing process. With a disease such as diabetes, it is very important to remember what effects our actions may cause. Being undisciplined with monitoring your glucose levels could have drastic consequences, because high glucose levels often lead to nerve damage (neuropathy) in your feet. Exercising with neuropathy means you need to be careful how much you do and which type of exercise you get involved in.
Nerve damage in your feet greatly compromises your ability to feel heat, cold, and pain. Exercise is really important when you have diabetes, as it boosts your cardiovascular health and can help control blood glucose levels. It can be dangerous, however, if you have limited sensation in your feet. If you are not able to feel discomfort or an injury that has occurred, this puts you at risk for serious complications such as fractures, blisters, open sores, or ulcers. With this in mind, we encourage you to avoid activities that are high-impact, strenuous, or would have you on your feet for long periods of time. This would include aerobics, long distance running, classes or movements with jumping, and extreme weight-bearing exercises.
You may be wondering, “What else is there to do then?” Be encouraged that there are many low-impact options that will still keep you fit, but also safe. Try swimming, cycling, chair exercises, walking, yoga, Pilates, tai-chi, rowing, and body-weight training. Dr. Gene Reister can help you find the best option for your fitness level. Don’t forget to always have appropriate footwear and check your feet every day for signs of injury.
For diabetic foot care or to discuss concerns about your foot health, contact Richardson Podiatry Associates to make an appointment with Dr. Gene Reister—an expert in helping patients with diabetic foot conditions. Call our office in Richardson, TX today at (972) 690-5374.
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