What is the role of physical therapy in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Dianna Quan, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Physical therapy may be a useful adjunct to other therapy, especially when muscular pain and weakness are a manifestation of the patient's neuropathy. The physical therapist can instruct the patient in a general exercise program to maintain his or her mobility and strength. An aquatic therapist can also be helpful.

Although the American Diabetes Association recommends moderate to vigorous exercise for patients with diabetes to help manage the disease, a literature review by Johnson and Takemoto indicated that in patients who have been inactive or cannot achieve such intensity levels, low-intensity aerobic therapy can improve sensation in the feet and reduce pain and tingling in the lower limbs. [97, 98]


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