HOW DOES DIABETES AFFECT MY FEET?

People with diabetes often have trouble with their feet, particularly because of poor circulation and loss of feeling (neuropathy) which makes it difficult to tell if you have a blister or a sore. If sores aren't seen to, they could worsen and develop into ulcers. Infected ulcers could lead to hospitalization and possibly amputation.


WHAT IS PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY?

It is a gradual loss of nerve function in the legs and feet. Elevated blood glucose levels can damage nerve endings causing numbness and tingling feeling in the feet. Neuropathy develops slowly and is heightened by pain. The likelihood of the developing neuropathy increases with age.


WHAT IS A FOOT ULCER?

A diabetic foot ulcer is a break or hole in the skin which leaves the foot and/or body vulnerable to invasion from harmful bacteria that can cause infection.

ORTHOTICS & DIABETES

Custom made foot orthotics are frequently prescribed for individuals with diabetic neuropathy to offload high pressures from metatarsal heads (balls of the feet) and other areas, which reduces the risk of plantar foot ulcerations.

When the foot pronates (rolls inward) or supinates (rolls outward) it distorts and in turn redistributes pressure to other areas of the foot that aren't designed to handle that kind of force. This results in shearing force that can lead to ulceration.

 

ORTHOTICS FOR DIABETICS WORK IN 2 WAYS:

  1. Alleviating high areas of plantar pressures by distributing weight evenly throughout the foot.
  2. Maintaining the proper alignment of the foot & lower limb and prevent excessive motion which causes certain conditions.

Orthotics provide an important interface between the shoe & foot and the two combined offer an effective approach to the reduction of potentially damaging tissue stresses on the plantar aspect of the foot.

 

DIABETES MELLITUS is a metabolic disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin that it produces. This leads to high levels of glucose in the blood, which can cause damage to organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Diabetic foot ulcerations are a frequent complication of diabetes and are a leading cause of hospitalization in people with diabetes mellitus. 

Custom Made Orthotics work by alleviating plantar pressure by evenly distributing plantar pressure, reduce shock absorption through the use of shock absorbing materials and accommodate foot deformities as well as bony prominences.

Appropriate footwear is essential for people with diabetes. Footwear should be appropriate width and the depth for the diabetic foot. One of the most effective shoe types to help offload the forefoot (common area for ulcers) is the rocker sole.

Footwear modifications can also be done at our clinic to accommodate areas of concern for the diabetic foot, including:


  • Rocker Soles

  • Medial or Lateral Butress Wedges
  • Balloon Patches
  • Heel Spur Cut Out