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Physiotherapist on the diabetes care team

Physiotherapist on the diabetes care team

In the past historical periods, physical medicine procedures, massage, water procedures were relatively widely used to treat and improve the quality of life of patients with diabetes mellitus, in turn, a physiotherapist is a relatively new profession. Today the physiotherapist has a much wider range of options at his disposal, based on evidence from research. Many of these methods work well, but require much more active patient involvement, such as regular exercise at home. 

In turn, in our “historical memory” physiotherapy is more associated with being passively on a massage table or under some buzzing electrical appliance. It is also difficult for patients to understand which methods would give the best results, and how to find “their” physiotherapist, as physiotherapist work in many healthcare institutions, and each has a different specialization. In this article we will try to find out how a physical therapist can help a patient with diabetes by collaborating with other healthcare professionals involved in the treatment, or, as is often said now, members of a multidisciplinary team.

Physiotherapist
Young smiling doctor consoling patient sitting on wheel chair outdoor

Short vocabulary

A physiotherapist evaluates the functional state, examines and treats the patient, helps him regain lost function or reduce its deficiency using physical therapy methods (for example, electrical procedures, thermal procedures, water procedures), as well as methods of therapeutic gymnastics, manual therapy, massage. Assessment of the functional state includes, for example, an assessment of posture and gait, the volume of active and passive movements, muscle function, determination of coordination and balance physiotherapist reactions, and after determining the functional state, its correction.

A physical therapist can help reduce or eliminate bone and joint physiotherapist problems, back pain, respiratory diseases (eg, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia), cardiovascular problems, and help trauma patients. Even from this incomplete list, it is clear that the mentioned health problems are very common in patients with diabetes. Diabetes mellitus also needs to be considered when evaluating various bodily functions and measures to improve them.


When do diabetic patients most often use the services of a physiotherapist for special health problems related to diabetes mellitus?

Liene Cipule: Endocrinologists recommend that patients with diabetes exercise exercise, which is an important part of diabetes treatment, as it helps to lower blood glucose levels, body weight and has a positive effect on mood. A physical therapist can effectively help address obesity problems by developing a physical activity program tailored to the individual patient and their health condition, helping and monitoring results. For patients with diabetes mellitus, exercises to improve microcirculation, sensorimotor and balance exercises, and exercises to improve metabolism are beneficial.


Historically, physiotherapy for diabetic patients was once, and perhaps still is, associated with various procedures for treating diabetic polyneuropathy, or, more simply, for relieving leg pain. Does the physical therapist now have more resources at their disposal to reduce these symptoms, improve the quality of life?

The presence of complaints of fatigue and pain in the legs in a patient with diabetes mellitus also indicates functional changes in the body. In recent years, studies have been carried out both in the world and in Latvia, confirming the importance of balance disorders and the importance of reducing these disorders in patients with diabetes mellitus, as they increase the risk of falls and injuries. 

The risk group also includes patients with diabetic polyneuropathy (or changes in the peripheral nervous system) and complaints of pain or numbness in the feet, feeling of walking like cotton wool, diabetic retinopathy (or diabetes-induced changes in the vessels of the eyes, which can cause, for example, decreased visual Physiotherapist acuity, deterioration of twilight vision), microcirculation disorders (or changes in small vessels). 

In patients with diabetes mellitus, changes in the vestibular apparatus are noted, which researchers associate with damage to small vessels in the vestibular system, which, in combination with other late complications of diabetes mellitus, worsen the gait, balance and body stability of a patient with diabetes.

physiotherapist

 As the risk of falls increases, the likelihood of injury increases. In a patient with diabetes, even a minor injury can cause serious problems, since skin lesions, as well as bone fractures, heal with a delay, infection can join them, so falls and injuries can be fatal for a patient with diabetes. balance and stability of the body of the patient with diabetes. As the risk of falls increases, the likelihood of injury increases.

In a patient with diabetes, even a minor injury can cause serious problems, since skin lesions, as well as bone fractures, heal with a delay, infection can join them, so falls and injuries can be fatal for a patient with diabetes. balance and stability of the body of the patient with diabetes. As the risk of falls increases, the likelihood of injury increases. In a patient with diabetes, even a minor injury can cause serious problems, since skin lesions, as well as bone fractures, heal with a delay, infection can join them, so falls and injuries can be fatal for a patient with diabetes.

Physiotherapist have at their disposal a variety of internationally recognized effective tests for determining balance disorders, as well as evidence-based methods for eliminating them. It is curious that diabetes patients themselves do not realize that they have problems with their balance, so I urge you to think about how often you cling to something and fall? If so, a physical therapist can help you improve stability and safety!

Mahmud Farooque

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