Diabetes-related foot paint, or diabetic foot pain for short, is a common compilation for T1D and T2D patients. Since we at Shop Miko are experts on foot health, we decided to share all we know about diabetic foot pain and ways to reduce your suffering. 

y2 new generation foot massager with heat and vibration

Diabetes and Foot Pain: Reason and Symptoms

If you didn’t know, diabetes is also the leading cause behind foot pain in the population. While the severity varies among patients, the sentiment is shared: it is a pain in the butt and makes their lives a bigger struggle than they already are. 

High blood sugar levels are the black hand pulling the nerves in your feet. That’s why those unaware of their diabetic conditions often suffer the most.

While many think diabetic foot pain only results from peripheral neuropathy, that’s not all correct. Since high blood sugar damages the nervous system and blood vessels, your foot pain could also be from poor circulation.

Furthermore, diabetes also leads to other conditions like obesity and kidney problems that may cause bone, muscle, and nerve pain.

Common Symptoms

So, how does diabetic foot pain differ from… say, too much standing and walking?

Generally, diabetic foot pain has the following symptoms:

  • Increased sensitivity: Sometimes, it’s not pain you’re feeling but amplified sensories. Ever read the story about the Princess and the Pea? With diabetes, your feet may become sensitive to things that wouldn’t have bothered you before.
  • Tingling and numbness: Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves. You might get the “pin and needle” feeling more often than others due to diabetes.
  • Weakness: Your feet and legs may feel weak, especially standing up. You may also feel a sudden pain wave.
  • Furthermore, if you hurt your feet, be prepared for a longer, slower recovery. Diabetes hurts your blood vessels and causes bad circulation. As a result, it takes the immune cells carried by blood longer to do their job.

    If the injury and diabetes pain becomes intolerable, or your wound seems to be worsening, please consult with your doctors. You can only manage pain on your own for that much, and your health deserves professional care when it's needed.

    dietary change to manage diabetic foot pain

    How to Reduce Diabetic Foot Pain

    Thankfully, we know some proven ways to help you manage and reduce foot pain from diabetes. These are simple strategies you can implement right away with fast resutls.

    Foot Massages

    Shiatsu foot massages are one of the most effective ways to reduce dibaetic foot pain. The shiatsu technique came from Japan (the word literally means “pressing with fingers”) and improves circulation by stimulating pressure points through your body.

    Since a high blood sugar level impedes normal bloodflow, a weekly shiatsu massage could significantly reduce your pain.

    Wear Shoes Even When Indoors

    Diabetic feet recovers more slowly from cuts and injuries. Therefore, it’s important to protect yourself from debris and sharp objects around the house. We recommend wearing shoes all the time. You never know what’s really on your floor or hiding in your carpet, and it’ll be too late once you get hurt.

    Wearing protective or ergonomic footwear also increases your comfort level. Since your legs and feet would feel weak from diabetes, it’d be wise to look into supportive soles or healthier footwear options as well.

    Stop Smoking and Drinking

    First of all, most alcoholic beverages have a high sugar level. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it’s not a good idea to drink in general. Meanwhile, drinking when you have diabetes also leads to the accumulation of certain acids in the blood. This could lead to severe consequences and other diseases.

    Similarly, smoking makes you more prone to cooccuring compilations including diabetic foot pain. Nicotine also increases your blood sugar levels, which makes quitting harder since you can’t use nicotine patches or other alternatives.

    So, if you’re struggling quitting smoking or drinking while managing diabetes, talk to your doctor!

    Maintain a Healthy Diet

    Diabete management is 70% dietary. Yes, you’ll have to say goodbye to many things you previously enjoyed. But honestly, it’s whatever you can do for a healthier life, correct?

    However, maintaining a healthy diet is so much more than avoiding high sugar food. Speak with a docotr, or better, a nutritionist and see what you’re missing from a balanced, diabetes-friendly diet. Fbier, vitamins, and pain-relieving foods are all great options to explore.

    mas2 foot massager for ankle and calf

    Should I Buy a Foot Massager?

    You’ve probably seen a dozen lists for the best foot massagers in the market. But you still don’t know if that’s really going to solve your problems.

    Don’t you wish someone could just give you a straightforward answer on whether a foot massager truly helps with diabetic foot pain? Well, we feel you. Therefore, instead of promoting machines in your face, we decided to break massagers into categories and explain how they work.

    That way, you can decide if this is an investment you’d want to make.

    Shiatsu Foot Massagers

    A home shiatsu foot massager is the best investment you can make to reduce diabetic foot pain, period. Yes, they’re pricier. Yes, they take up more space. And, indeed, you may only use it once or twice a week for fifteen minutes per session.

    But the result is instant. Thus, it’s worth every penny.

    Foot Massagers With Heat and Vibration

    If you’re shy on budget or would rather downgrade from an advanced shiatsu massager, that’s totally fine. Other more affordable options would still do the trick. The key here is to always look for foot massagers with heat and vibration.

    Also, we recommend ones with multiple presets or adjustable intensity. Diabetes harms the nerves in your feet, so you may be too sensitive or not sensitive enough to heat and forces. If you can’t adjust the settings, you might either not benefit from the massager or harm your feet.

    Heating Pads and Hot Stone Kits

    Heat therapy is effective against foot pain. Therefore, an essential oil soak or a heating pad works great with foot pain. However, hot stone massage is a whole different story. In fact, physicians have advised strongly against hot stones if you have diabetes because the heat is too intrusive on anyone with nerve damage.

    Don't worry. You can still use hot stone on your back and other body parts not affected by nerve pain.

    Portable Foot Massagers

    Handheld massagers tend to be more affordable. So, it makes sense why many opt for a portable massager than a full one. However, ensure the one you get is designed for neuropathy or diabetes patients because applying the wrong pressure could cause more pain instead of relieving it.

    You also want to look for models that give you enough flexibility and mobility. Diabetic foot pain goes beyond the feet along. Ideally, your massager should work on your calves and ankles as well. 

    Living With Diabetes-Related Foot Pain

    Living with foot pain is no easy task since it can get in the way of your daily life. Some neuropathy foot pain is so severe that you might barely be able to walk. Therefore, pain management is a battle physically and mentally.

    We highly recommend you invest in a calf and ankle massager to relieve foot pain to the maximum. Meanwhile, adjust your life habits to take care of yourself from the ground up.

    Finally, speak to your families and friends if things get tough. Pain is draining, and we don’t want you to fight the battle all alone. Plus, depression and anxiety could also cause or intensify physical pain.

    So, all in all, don’t hesitate to lean on others. Of course, those who love you would want you to live a pain-free life.

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