Diabetic foot pain, ever heard of that? If you are thinking, what does diabetes have to do with heel pain then guess what? It is a condition that anyone with a sweet tooth can develop with time.
Diabetes can give your feet a hard time. It is said that diabetic patients are more prone to develop foot problems but can it induce plantar fasciitis? Let us know how are they interlinked.
Diabetes and plantar fasciitis
Several studies have been conducted to find the relation between plantar fasciitis and diabetes and the outcome of each showed the percentage of foot problems especially heel pain was more in people having type 2 diabetes than those who don’t. Diabetic foot problems are said to rise majorly due to two factors i.e circulation issue and neuropathy (nerve damage).
Circulation issue in diabetes and foot pain
Reduced or lack of blood flow is termed as a circulation issue which can cause aches or pains in the body. In the case of diabetes, poor circulation arises in the veins and arteries which are the providers of blood to our organs, legs, and arms below the stomach level, symptoms of which is known as a peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
Inadequate blood supply to our feet makes it painful to walk and may even swell up in some cases, due to which, pressure builds up on the plantar fascia ligament that connects the heel to the toes in our body and tiny tears start to appear causing plantar fasciitis. The limited flow of blood, also lessens the number of important nutrients and amount of critical oxygen that one should receive to heal naturally.
Our nerves are the carriers of pain and other sensations in our body. Although high blood sugar (glucose) levels can cause damage to the nerves throughout the body, it’s the nerves in the legs and feet that are most affected in diabetic neuropathy and since the plantar fasciitis is the largest ligament in the human body, it is not surprising that diabetes affects those longest nerves.
Now there are 4 types of diabetic neuropathy – Peripheral neuropathy, Autonomic neuropathy, Focal neuropathies, and Proximal neuropathy, hence the symptoms vary depending upon the affected nerves which can range from pain and numbness in the legs and feet to problems with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels and even heart.
Diabetic foot treatment
To get rid of the diabetic foot, it is obvious that you need to control your diabetes. Other than that, there are also some measures you can take to ease your feet like;
- using shoe insoles or cushioned supports
- weight loss
- practice of leg exercises
- regular use of a foot roller
- use of an electrotherapy machine called SONICTENS for permanent pain relief
A lot of studies has been conducted mapping the link between diabetes and plantar fasciitis like; a 2011 study entitled Diabetic Foot Problems: Inpatient Management of Diabetic Foot Problems, research by Stallings, Jennifer titled – Is there a relationship between plantar fasciitis and diabetes? Chapel Hill, NC: Diabetes Sisters (USA); etc., to find whether the thickening of the plantar fascia ligament due to diabetes can generally lead to plantar fasciitis or not, but it is yet to be concluded properly. A sugar control, proper healthy diet and feet care can anyways prevent you from developing both diabetes and plantar fasciitis.