Diabetic Foot Pain

Diabetes is a disorder in which a person’s body cannot produce sufficient amounts of insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugars into energy. This condition has the potential to lead to some surprising complications. One of the areas of the body most affected by diabetes is the feet. Diabetes has the potential to damage nerves and decrease circulation, which may result in insufficient blood flow to the feet. This may cause conditions specifically linked to diabetes as well as increase the likelihood of developing many common problems. Some of the more frequently occurring potential foot-related complications include:

  • Peripheral Neuropathy – In a nutshell, peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves in the limbs and extremities. Consistently high blood sugar may damage nerve fibers, causing this neuropathy. While diabetic neuropathy may affect any part of the body, the feet and legs are most commonly affected. A patient may experience burning pain, a tingling sensation, or numbness as a result.

  • Ulcers – These are open sores that may develop on the soles of the feet, most commonly underneath the big toes and on the balls of the feet. Ulcers are the result of skin on the feet breaking down and exposing underlying tissues. These sores may become infected, affecting the foot as deep as the bone. This condition is not only painful, but may cause serious damage, which in the most severe cases may result in the foot needing to be amputated. 

Fortunately, there are some easy steps one can take to protect his feet from these painful conditions. Some of these steps include:

  • Check both feet daily for signs of damage

  • Wash feet with warm water and dry them thoroughly

  • Make sure shoes fit correctly and provide adequate support

  • Wear shoes or slippers at all reasonable times to protect feet from damage and ensure support

  • Communicate with your doctor about any discomfort, numbness, or sores

  • Keep your feet well-groomed and moisturized

  • Opt for non-impact exercises, such as cycling, swimming, or yoga

  • Treat “small” issues, including ingrown toenails, hammertoes, bunions, and corns

  • Use shoe inserts to provide support for problem areas

  • Monitor and control your blood sugar


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