PT Classroom - Physical Therapy Implications for the Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus ׀ by Pete Balik, MPT, CSCS
Pete Balik graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Physical Therapy degree. He has been practicing since 1995 and started Active Care Rehab in 2001.He has lectured at Concordia University, and University Wisconsin Milwaukee. Pete has been certified by the National Strength and conditioning Association and USA Triathlon. He also served as the Legislative Chair for the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association, and has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association since 1993.His practice includes sports medicine and general orthopedic patients.
Physical Therapy Implications for the Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes is rapidly becoming an epidemic in the United
States, epically Type II (formally called adult onset). Type
II usually appears in persons over the age of 40 and is
associated with physical inactivity and in persons who are
overweight. Usually symptoms are not obvious at first. The
symptoms associated with diabetes can include: frequent
urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight
loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision (1).
Recent studies indicate that the early detection of diabetes
symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing
the complications of diabetes (1). However, if left
untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure,
amputation or death.
Another tool which is available to some physical therapists
for treating complications associated with diabetes is
Anodyne Therapy received FDA approval in 1994 and utilizes
monochromatic infrared energy (MIRE) to release nitric oxide
from the patient’s red blood cells. The company says this
improves nerve function and is important for making new
blood vessels and healing wounds. As the company notes, “low
levels of nitric oxide are common in people with diabetes
and are a major factor in the poor circulation, loss of
sensation, chronic falls, foot ulcers and pain of diabetic
peripheral neuropathy.” Therefore, this type of therapy is a
simple, safe, non-invasive treatment option for people who
suffer from pain and numbness at the feet.
Last revised: September 8, 2009