For those managing diabetes in Minnesota diabetic footwear is a must. Diabetes can cause a host of problems such as poor blood circulation and damaged nerves in the legs and feet. When nerves in feet become damaged injuries such as bumps, bruises and cuts can go unnoticed and become infected. Combine this with poor circulation and the reduced capability of a diabetic’s immune system to fight infections, and serious health problems can occur. In severe cases amputation may be required. It is therefore essential that diabetics have the proper footwear to protect their feet and keep them healthy.
What is Diabetic Footwear?
Diabetic footwear in Minnesota is specially designed to protect and support the feet of diabetics with co-existing foot disease or foot related problems. Often referred to as therapeutic shoes, diabetic footwear can also come in the form of custom orthotics (shoe inserts), sock and slippers. Ill-fitting shoes can cause calluses and friction to form. This risk is higher in diabetics who suffer from dry skin. As the skin breaks down, ulcers and abrasions can occur. Diabetic footwear in Minnesota is specially designed and custom fit to reduce the risk of skin breakdown.
In addition to protecting the feet from injury and skin breakdown, diabetic footwear in Minnesota provides unrivaled foot support. Diabetic footwear reduces the amount of shock transferred to the feet by activities such as walking and reduces the side to side movement of feet within the shoes. Just as shoes that are too small can hurt the feet of diabetics, so can shoes that allow too much movement. Limiting the motion of the feet reduces strain on the joints and can aid in reducing swelling and pain. By providing superior support, diabetic footwear makes feet more stable.
Another excellent feature of diabetic footwear is that it is custom fit and can even be custom made. Everyone’s feet are different and require different amounts of support due to shape or existing conditions. In some cases, diabetics may suffer from foot deformities such as hammertoe, amputation of the toes or the loss of fatty deposits in the feet. These conditions can all cause pain and the wrong type of footwear can actually cause some conditions to worsen. Normal footwear cannot adequately support these types of deformities and can increase the pain associated with these conditions. Custom fit diabetic footwear allows for such abnormalities and provides a more comfortable and supported solution. Pain is reduced and the simple act of walking becomes much easier.
Types of Diabetic Footwear
Depending on the needs of the diabetic patient there are several types of footwear available by prescription. Healing shoes are typically prescribed after foot surgery or after the treatment of ulcers and are used when a regular shoe cannot be worn. In-depth footwear is most often an athletic or oxford style shoe. As the name suggests, these shoes are designed with extra depth added to accommodate orthotic inserts and existing foot deformities. Light-weight and shock absorbent, this kind of diabetic footwear comes in many color and style options. For some diabetics with severe deformities of the feet, custom made footwear may be necessary. A cast or mold of the feet is taken and used as a basis for creating the shoes.
Orthotics, either custom made or over-the-counter, are also often prescribed for diabetics. Orthotics can be in the form of foot pads, ankle braces or shoe inserts. Foot pads and shoe inserts fit inside shoes and are used to relieve foot pain and pressure on the joints. Ankle braces are less common, but are placed on the feet before the shoes.
As you can see, there are many options available to diabetics in Minnesota to protect and support the feet as well as to relieve pain. Diabetics should consult with their physician to discuss the footwear options that are best suited to their needs.