Physical Therapy and Diabetes Management

Physical Therapy and Diabetes Management hover background

Nov 05

The number of people with diabetes in America is on the rise and so it is important to know about how physical therapy and diabetes management go hand in hand. If you or someone in your family is diabetic or pre-diabetic knowing the options you have available to help manage the disease or prevent it from getting worse can open up new options for your health and your life.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes happens when your body interacts incorrectly with insulin in one of two ways. Either your body does not produce enough, or the other cells in your body do not react to insulin in the way that they should.

When this happens, your body is not able to use blood sugar for energy as it needs to. Instead, the blood sugar builds up in your bloodstream. This can lead to many other issues and complications with your health.

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 is also known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). This type of diabetes is not preventable.
  • Type 2 is also known as adult onset diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). This type of diabetes is preventable. Those with the following risk factors are more likely to have it: obesity, certain ethnic backgrounds, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and/or family history of diabetes. For women, those that have had gestational diabetes, given birth to a large baby (over 10 lbs.), or have had polycystic ovaries in the past are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is a third type of diabetes. Pregnancy can prompt this type of diabetes, which only exists during pregnancy. However, it can turn into type 2 diabetes after pregnancy if not managed properly.

How Physical Therapy and Diabetes Management Go Hand In Hand

For type 2 diabetes, many of the causes are linked to lifestyle factors, so it is considered a lifestyle disease. This is seen not only in adults that live a sedentary lifestyle, but also in kids that are not as active as they should be. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, a physical therapist can help.

[Related article: Do This Not That: Tips To Combat A Sedentary Lifestyle]

A physical therapist works to address the physical problems associated with this disease. A physical therapist can help you manage it, help improve this condition if it is not too late, and most importantly, prevent it from getting worse.

Because of this, physical therapy and diabetes management efforts will focus on guiding you through regular physical activity. It is important to monitor blood sugar before, during, and after exercise.

It is recommended that exercise include a combination of aerobic activities and resistance training. A sample program may include aerobic exercise three to five days per week along with resistance training at two to three days per week.

A physical therapist can guide you safely through a program that is tailored specifically for your health needs and goals.

Benefits of Physical Therapy and Diabetes Management Together

A physical therapist is an important member of your diabetes healthcare team. He or she can help you experience the many benefits of physical therapy for diabetes management, including:

Reduced pain

Improved mobility

Performance of normal daily activities

Exercise safely and effectively

Possibly help blood glucose levels to go down

Improve strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, and balance

Faster healing of wounds and sores (slow healing sores and wounds is a sign of diabetes)

If you have type 2 or gestational diabetes, it is important to manage the condition with a combination of exercise, good eating habits, keeping weight down, and monitoring your blood sugar as your doctor recommends.

Now that you know more about physical therapy and diabetes management…

…if you are ready to experience the benefits of physical therapy and diabetes management, call us today. A physical therapist can help you to prevent your condition from getting worse, and help you start living a better quality of life despite this condition. 

At Above & Beyond Physical Therapy, we have physical therapists available at two convenient locations in both Queen Creek and Phoenix.  Contact us today.


Queen Creek Location
21321 E. Ocotillo Rd., Suite 122
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Ph: 480.987.1870
F: 480.987.9289

3201 W. Peoria Ave., Suite D800
Phoenix, AZ 85029
Ph: 602.866.2231
F: 602.866.2261