Type 2 Diabetes and Peripheral Neuropathy: To Walk or Not to Walk?
It is now well known that engaging in light to moderate physical activity on a regular basis is of significant value for most people that have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. In fact the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes should get a minimum of 150 minutes of light to moderate exercise per week including aerobic and resistance training.
What the ADA says...
It has also been recommended that people with peripheral diabetic neuropathy that have reduced or absent feeling in their feet should not engage in any form of weight bearing exercise activity. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy should limit the amount of weight-bearing physical activity they perform due to their increased risk of foot ulcers and amputation (1, 2). This is based on the fact that with peripheral neuropathy there is either a decreased ability or total inability in the feet to feel pain or discomfort.
As an example, standing barefoot on hot asphalt maybe in a parking lot in the middle of the summer would be very uncomfortable for someone with normal sensation in their feet, however go unnoticed for someone with peripheral neuropathy. Similarly, the person with peripheral neuropathy may develop a painful nickel-sized blister after walking too far or when wearing new shoes and not even feel it. Without daily inspection of the ankles and feet (which a lot of people do not do) this blister could go unnoticed for days resulting in a potentially infected, slow to heal, or non-healing wound. In the worst case this Continue reading