Foot Treatments & Custom Orthotics for Diabetes
Did you know that one in three Canadians is living with diabetes or prediabetes? Most people aren't aware how prevalent this disease is, nor do most Canadians understand the risk and complications associated with it. That's why we'd like to take a moment this November to recognize Diabetes Awareness Month, to discuss how this disease affects your feet, and to explain how custom orthotics can help.
Diabetes and Your Feet
Diabetes causes nerve damage and issues with the flow of blood in the feet and lower limbs. Nerve damage in the feet is dangerous because it reduces the sensations that you feel, which makes it difficult to tell when you've had a foot injury. Minor injuries like a blister or cut on your foot then become a risk for further complications, especially considering that reduced blood flow often prevents your body from properly healing, even when a cut or wound is relatively small.
Your Feet – A Warning Sign
Listen to your feet; they’re telling you a lot about your body! Over time, people with diabetes experience symptoms and changes in their feet. Speak with your chiropodist if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Numbness, tingling or strange feelings in your feet, including a heavy or spongy feeling
- Dry, peeling, cracking skin, or skin irritations
- New calluses or corns
- Chronic foot wounds or delays in the healing of cuts or scrapes
- Changes in how your foot looks or moves.
Start with Prevention
If you have diabetes, then the best way to care for your feet is to speak to your chiropodist about a preventative approach designed to reduce your risk of diabetes-related foot complications. In addition to stretching and having an annual foot exam, custom orthotics are an excellent option for many of our patients with diabetes.
Unlike with other foot conditions where custom orthotics are often used to correct the position or control the foot’s movement, custom orthotics for diabetes are focused on pressure. When creating custom orthotics for patients with diabetes, we focus on redistributing pressure along the soles of your feet to protect and prevent injuries with the foot.
We also recommend that those with diabetes:
- Wear shoes that fit well.
- Do not walk barefoot - wear slippers inside and shoes outdoors.
- Use special diabetic socks or an extra blanket if your feet are cold.
- Exercise your feet regularly to maintain adequate circulation and blood flow
- See us immediately to treat corns and callouses. Avoid using over-the-counter treatments for warts, corns, or calluses.
- Avoid wearing over the counter orthotics and insoles.
With proper foot care, you will stay active and mobile, which is vital for everyone, but especially those who have diabetes.