Some of the most important services we provide at Central Arkansas Foot Care are those we provide for our patients who are diabetic. Treatment for conditions like foot ulcers or arch collapse is essential for avoiding serious medical complications, but prevention is an even safer path for your health, and a pair of diabetic shoes can help keep your feet safe and protected. This is an essential part of a responsible diabetic foot care plan, and our office can help you find a pair that works best for you.
Diabetes and Feet
To highlight the importance of this matter, let’s begin with a look at the relationship between diabetes and feet. The disease affects the body in many different ways, and feet are certainly not immune from this. There are two conditions commonly associated with diabetes (poor circulation and nerve damage) that can be especially problematic.
Feet especially need to be protected because diabetic individuals often have an impaired ability to fight infections and recognize injury on account of circulatory and nerve issues. This means a someone with diabetes could easily sustain a scrape or cut (especially tiny ones!) on a foot without even being aware of it. Since diabetes impairs the immune system, a dangerous infection could develop. In cases like this, the risk for a necessary amputation increases.
There are ways to keep this dangerous situation from developing, including choosing footwear to protect the lower limbs and relieve pressure from areas of concern.
An Intro to Diabetic Footwear
Always wearing the proper footwear is an important pillar of smart diabetic foot care. Diabetic footwear is selected to achieve the following objectives:
- Relieve excessive pressure. Skin breakdown and foot ulcers can develop in areas of the feet that are subjected to excessive pressure or friction. As we noted, this increases your risk for dangerous infections, but diabetic footwear can reduce that possibility.
- Reduce shear and shock. Shock refers to vertical forces placed upon a foot with impact, and shear is horizontal friction when a foot slides in a shoe. Both of these physical forces stress the feet in different ways, but they each can result in damaged tissue and other issues that create unsafe conditions.
- Support, accommodate, and stabilize deformities. Conditions like hammertoes, Charcot foot, and toes or feet that have been amputated need to be accommodated correctly to reduce the risk of further damage.
- Restrict motion in joints. Limiting the motion of various joints can relieve pain, decrease inflammation and stabilize the foot as a whole, all of which help prevent further issues.
Types of Diabetic Shoes
For those in early stages of the disease or without a history of sensation loss or foot problems, you might simply need shoes constructed from softer materials that fit properly and have shock-absorbing soles. Proper fit is quite important, especially because ill-fitting shoes can lead to a host of issues. These issues can be bad enough for those who do not have a complicating disease, but they become outright dangerous for individuals who have diabetes.
Many diabetic individuals benefit from wearing prescription footwear. The models we can prescribe for you serve to achieve a variety of intended functions. They can have room for orthotic devices, provide extra shock-absorption and stabilizing materials, and be customized to accommodate specific needs.
Along with diabetic shoes, customized orthotics are another useful tool for keeping diabetic feet safe. Many people quickly associate orthotics with shoe inserts that can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies and stores. Those inserts do have their uses, but diabetic foot care is not one of them. Conversely, custom orthotics are prescribed by our office and designed for your unique feet and they are intended to work in accordance with how you walk (your gait pattern). They can control motion, provide structure, and redistribute harsh forces for your feet.
Complete Diabetic Foot Care in Hot Springs, AR
Wearing the right diabetic shoes is a start for keeping your feet safe, but remember there are other important measures you need to take as well! If you would like assistance with any facet of diabetic foot care, don’t hesitate to contact Central Arkansas Foot Care. Call our Hot Springs office at (501) 321-4844, our Arkadelphia office at (870) 245-3003for more information.