Diabetic Foot Care
You May Be Wondering...
“Why Is It So Important To Take Care Of My Feet, When There Are So Many Other Things Like Sugar (Glucose) Levels, A1c Levels, Diet, Etc. To Be Concerned About When I Have Diabetes?"
There are several reasons your feet are VERY important to pay attention to when you have diabetes:
- 1Many times when you have diabetes, it causes numbness, tingling, pain and loss of sensation in the feet
- 2The skin on your feet becomes more easily dry and cracked
Numbness, tingling, pain, and especially loss of the ability to feel light touch, hot or cold on your skin because of the diabetes can lead to the development of blisters and open sores (ulcers) on your toes or feet. Having dry and or cracked skin on your feet only increases the possibility of developing blisters and or ulcers on the feet / toes.
Unfortunately, another undesirable effect of having diabetes is that you heal more slowly and less completely than someone without diabetes.
If you have a higher chance of developing open wounds on your feet and you heal more slowly due to diabetes, you can see why taking care of your diabetic feet is so important.
When you are diabetic, developing blisters and open wounds on your feet or toes occurs since you cannot feel pain or pressure sensation correctly, so you don’t even realize that there is too much pressure in an area or areas of your feet or toes. If the blisters and wounds do not heal properly, it is easy for the wound area to become infected by bacteria and if left untreated, the infection could reach the bone. This is what can cause diabetic patients to lose toes or parts of their feet /leg as the infection travels up the leg.
In addition, the numbness and tingling, loss of sensation and pain also makes it difficult for Diabetic patients to walk properly and can affect their balance because they can’t feel where their feet are as they are placing the foot on the floor and taking another step.
Now You May Be Wondering: “What Can I Do To Stop All Of This From Happening?”
KNOW THIS: THERE IS HOPE!!
Prevention is KEY! We have Diabetic Foot and Ankle Specialists on staff that will help get you into proper diabetic shoes that have extra depth and are the correct size and shape to fit your specific foot type. This will prevent rubbing and pressure on your feet and toes, which will prevent blisters and ulcers that lead to open wounds and eventually worse.
Another key component to prevention of diabetic ulcers and wounds is to be fit with custom accommodative foot Orthotics. Orthotics are devices that are made of 3-ply material to provide support, cushion and protect your diabetic feet. These devices go inside of your diabetic shoes and together they provide the best protection against calluses, blisters and open wounds on your feet and toes.
Medicare and other insurances provide benefits to Diabetic patients with qualifying foot issues in that they often will provide financial coverage for 1 pair of diabetic shoes and 3 pair of diabetic accommodative orthotics per year… IF you meet the criteria that they set and if your Dr. fills out the necessary paperwork to support the need for shoes and accommodative diabetic orthotics.
In addition, another key to prevention and treatment is to see one of our expert Physical Therapists who can evaluate you to determine if weakness and or tightness of specific muscles of the foot and ankle are contributing to callusing and or excess pressure to specific areas of your feet.
What is the Medicare Diabetic Shoe Program?
The purpose of this program is to provide diabetic clients with protective footwear and inlays to prevent the onset of conditions that can lead to foot ulcerations.
To qualify for the diabetic shoe/insert benefit, a client must:
Be confirmed as having Diabetes Mellitus (DM)
Meet one of the qualifying characteristics:
What Do I Need To Take Advantage Of This Benefit?
Secure a prescription from an MD or Podiatrist for diabetic shoes and inlays.
Have Cardin & Miller Physical Therapy contact your medical doctor for medical notes regarding your condition. Copies of notes are required to validate that the M.D. has evaluated the client for DM and foot health.
Call Cardin & Miller Physical Therapy to schedule your initial evaluation.