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Physical exercise is an important tool in diabetes management

In the approximate time it will take you to read this blog, six people will have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. This can be toxic to a person’s cells and lead to many underlying health issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes almost tripled between 1990 and 2010, and is continuing to increase each year. This increase is being attributed to a rise in obesity, a decrease in leisure time physical activity, and the aging of the U.S. population.

Physical activity is one of the foundations for the prevention of diabetes, as is the management of existing diabetes. Physical therapists can develop a plan of physical exercise for patients, which is safe and beneficial. Working with a patent’s physician, a physical therapist can assist with exercises that are designed to meet each patient’s unique and special needs.

Between 60 and 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy is damage that affects the peripheral nerves of the body. Trained physical therapists can work with a person who is experiencing diabetic neuropathy, offering gait training and therapeutic exercises in conjunction with medication. This can aid in relieving a person’s pain and can help in reducing the risk of drug dependency.

It’s important for your physical therapist to perform an evaluation that reviews your medical history, medications to develop a plan that is right for you. That, along with diet, can aid a person in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and can also reduce the need for medications.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the recommended amount of moderate exercise is 30 minutes at least five days a week.

It’s important to see a physical therapist if you have:

  • Pain in your joints and muscles
  • Numbness or tingling in your feet
  • Pain or limping with walking
  • Used an assistive device such as a cane or crutches
  • Have questions of what type of exercise is right for you

Make wellness and fitness a priority and your first line of defense against diabetes.  November is American Diabetes Month® and through awareness and education, there is hope that one day there will be a world free of diabetes.

Get started on a safe exercise regime today!  Call South County Physical Therapy, Inc. at (508) 832-2628.

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