Most people underestimate the importance of foot care, but this can be a big mistake if you have diabetes. With this condition, you simply must have a foot care plan in place to help prevent serious complications. An instrumental component of a successful plan is making sure you have the right footwear to keep your feet safe and protected, and diabetic shoes fill that bill.
Diabetes and Feet
To understand why shoes are important with diabetes, it is necessary to understand the relationship between the disease and your feet. Diabetes affects many areas of the body, but feet are often most at risk of complications. In particular, two of the associated issues with the condition—neuropathy (nerve damage) and poor circulation—can be especially problematic.
Feet need to be kept safe because diabetes can impair your ability to fight infections and sense injuries. Combined, this means you could easily sustain a cut on your foot and not know it (on account of neuropathy), and then develop a dangerous infection. In such cases, this could lead to the need for amputation.
To prevent such dangerous conditions from occurring, it is important to have footwear that protects your feet and does not contribute to existing issues.
An Intro to Diabetic Footwear
The right footwear is an essential component of smart diabetic foot care. Diabetic shoes are intended to meet the following objectives:
- Relieve excessive pressure. Areas of the foot that are subject to excessive pressure can ultimately lead to ulcers and skin breakdown. These issues pose the risk for the aforementioned dangerous infections. A proper pair of diabetic footwear reduces the chances of an ulcer developing.
- Reduce shear and shock. Horizontal movement within a shoe is known as shear, and shock refers to vertical pressure placed upon a foot. Feet face a tremendous amount of stress from both of these physical forces and this can lead to deformities and other issues that create an unsafe condition.
- Support, accommodate, and stabilize deformities. Charcot foot, hammertoes, and amputations need to be accommodated to prevent further damage or risk of loss. It is also necessary to decrease pain and the progression of deformity in these cases.
- Limit motion in joints. Restricting the motion of various joints can relieve pain, decrease inflammation and stabilize the foot as a whole.
Types of Diabetic Shoes
For those who are in early stages of the disease or do not have a history of sensation loss or foot problems, you may only need a shoe made from soft materials that fits properly and has a shock-absorbing sole. Proper fit is rather important, since shoes that do not fit well can lead to an array of issues in any person, but can be outright dangerous if you live with diabetes.
The majority of diabetic individuals benefit from prescription footwear. The ones that we can prescribe for you achieve a variety of intended functions, including providing room for orthotic devices, having extra shock-absorbing or stabilizing materials, and containing customized accommodations to meet specific needs.
Going hand-in-hand with special shoes are customized orthotics. Many people associate orthotics with the inserts that can be purchased over-the-counter at stores and pharmacies. Those inserts do have their respective place, but this is simply not it. They are not capable of treating an actual medical condition.
Custom orthotics, on the other hand, are created by our office for your unique feet and are intended to work in accordance with your natural gait cycle. They can be used to control motion, redistribute forces, and provide additional structure for your feet.
Diabetic Shoes and Foot Care in Long Island, NY
Having the right pair of shoes is one facet of diabetic foot care, but we are able to help you with all aspects of keeping your feet safe and healthy. Contact our Nassau County, NY office and we will work with you to create an effective diabetic foot care plan. Call us today at (516) 804-9038 or schedule your appointment with Foot Specialists of Long Island through our online form.