A recent article in the November 2009 issue of The O&P Edge, entitled “Getting a Grip on Peripheral Neuropathy” offers detailed information on the cause, and management of the various forms of peripheral neuropathy (PN). While PN is surely not limited to diabetes, the progression the disease brings a tidal wave of concerns, many of which stem from the improper management of blood glucose levels.
While the cause and involvement levels of peripheral neuropathy are many, the takeaway from the above-mentioned article is simple. Physician-patient communication is essential to the effective management of diabetes, and related conditions. It’s the patient’s most pertinent responsibility to take precautions, including the diligent management of blood glucose levels, and daily inspection of their feet. Since PN patterns itself in ascending order, injury prevention & treatment starts at the feet.
Here are some interesting facts, presented in the “Getting a Grip on Peripheral Neuropathy” article:
Diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations.
According to the Amputee Coalition of America (ACA), over half of all amputations in the USA are caused by stage 2 diabetes, and related complications.
Optimal glycemic control remains the only available measure with proven efficiency in preventing or halting the progression of diabetic neuropathy (Boucek, Petr. “Advanced Diabetic Neuropathy: A point of No Return?”. The Review of Diabetic Studies, fall 2006).
In 1998, Tamarack Habilitation Technologies introduced its low-friction interface material, ShearBan®, to the O&P community. Widely used in conjunction with traditional pressure management techniques, ShearBan reduces friction forces in areas of footwear, or an orthotic/prosthetic device, where redness, blisters, and ulcers form. While its optimal use is the prevention of skin trauma, ShearBan® also aides the healing of diabetic foot ulcers, by way of providing continual, long-lasting friction relief. ShearBan is only available to allied healthcare professionals, but a consumer-friendly form of ShearBan is available through retailers worldwide. Visit GoENGO.com to learn more about friction management with ENGO® Patches for rubbing & blister relief.