Add a Physical Therapist to Your Healthcare Team to Fight Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. Millions of those do not even know they have the disease where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not react normally to insulin, to regulate glucose (sugar) in the blood. When someone has diabetes, the level of glucose in the blood becomes too high which can cause several health problems.

Diabetes can affect people of all ages and cause problems like weakness, loss of endurance, obesity, and balance problems. As a result, many people with diabetes become sedentary and don’t get enough exercise. Physical activity can lower high-blood sugar levels and Physical Therapists, who are movement experts, can train people to safely add physical activity to their lives in effective ways.

According to the American Diabetes Foundation, these signs may be present in those with diabetes:

  • Slow-healing sores
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequent infections of the gums, skin, vagina, or bladder
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diabetes symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Constant or extreme hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Tingling, burning, or numbness in feet and hands
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain in joints or muscles
  • Cramping or pain in the legs, or limping while walking
  • Weakness
  • Chronic pain


When you have diabetes, adding a Physical Therapist to your healthcare team can help with your:

Strength and Movement: PTs are movement experts who can help you move your joints safely to build strength.

Flexibility: If your muscles are tight, your PT can help stretch them and teach you stretches to do at home, by yourself.

Pain Levels: A PT can help reduce pain with targeted exercises and technology. They can also teach you how to manage your pain at home, without the need for medication.

Balance: Physical Therapists are experts at restoring your sense of balance, enabling you to get back to your daily activities. They can also help find obstacles that may be inhibiting your stability.

Endurance: PTs can restore your energy levels by working to combat any weaknesses you may have from lack of physical activity. They work with you to create a plan that fits your current fitness level and goals.

Working with a PT when you have diabetes can make you healthier overall, which ultimately helps you control the disease and get back to living the life you deserve.

Taken, in part from: