Two of our clinicians, Ashley Schwendeman DPT and Kelly Uding DPT, OCS, from our Festus office paid a visit to the Jefferson County Family YMCA to answer questions about how physical therapy can help them, especially individuals with arthritis and diabetes.
Kelly is especially knowledgeable about diabetes and how diabetics can benefit from physical therapy. She says that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 26 million children and adults are living with diabetes and as many as 7 million are unaware that they are diabetic. She says that physical activity is a cornerstone for prevention and treatment of diabetes.
If you suffer from diabetes, a physical therapist can help you by prescribing specific exercise programs tailored to your needs. They will teach you how to exercise safely and manage exercise precautions related to your diabetes and help you to manage your and mobility restrictions which may make it difficult to walk without a limp or exercise as you would like. A physical therapist can also help you care for your feet by teaching you how to perform a daily inspection and choosing the best exercises, especially if you have numbness or tingling.
Another condition that can benefit from physical therapy is arthritis. It affects 52.5 million U.S. adults, more than 1 in 5 and is the nation’s most common cause of disability. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion in your joints, but exercise and physical activity can help decrease the aches and pains of arthritis. When you go to see your physical therapist for treatment of arthritis pain, they will conduct an evaluation of your painful joint or joints and the surrounding areas.
Your physical therapist will analyze your posture, body mechanics, and how you perform daily tasks so they can teach you how
to help you protect your joints. Your therapist will then give you appropriate exercises for home or the gym to work on your strength, mobility, and balance. They will also educate you on how to manage your joint pain and symptoms, taking into consideration any other diagnoses you may have.
If you have any questions about arthritis, diabetes, or any other pain you are having, ask your healthcare provider if you can benefit from physical therapy.