For many people living with diabetes, pain management is an essential part of their daily treatment plan. Caused by nerve damage as a result of chronically high blood sugar levels, diabetic neuropathy is an incredibly painful condition that can have a dramatic impact on a person’s quality of life. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Looking to provide additional support in managing pain with diabetes, we have created this helpful recourse to shed some light on the various treatment options available for those experiencing neuropathic pain. Here is what we want you to know about diabetes and pain management:
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain, especially in diabetic patients, is a complex and more intense experience than acute pain. This is due to the way the nervous system interprets pain signals. The brain maps out pain receptors and various sensations, creating a detailed and often overwhelming picture of chronic pain. This type of pain encompasses various bodily discomforts, sometimes recognizing injuries that are still healing. Diabetic individuals may experience this pain more acutely due to nerve damage and potential neuropathy, which can be a lasting condition. Without timely treatment, even acute pain can escalate, highlighting the importance of early pain management.
Diabetes exacerbates pain due to increased muscle and nerve sensitivity. Reduced physical activity can lead to muscle inactivity, further intensifying pain. Chronic pain is not just a physical ailment; it can lead to multiple health issues, disrupting daily life, work, home responsibilities, and sleep patterns, profoundly impacting a patient's overall well-being. Moreover, it can trigger mental health challenges like anxiety and depression, which can, in turn, intensify the perception of pain.
Understanding diabetic neuropathy
In America, over 38 million adults (or just over 1 in every 10 people) are living with diabetes. With more people being diagnosed with diabetes every single year, the number of people experiencing the negative health impacts of diabetic neuropathy is also on the rise.
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that impacts the health and function of the nervous system. As one of the most complex systems within the human body, our nervous system is responsible for allowing us to feel and move each of our limbs.
Because diabetes impacts a person’s ability to regulate their blood sugar levels (by either not producing or impacting the efficacy of the hormone insulin), it is very common for people with this condition to experience chronically high blood glucose levels. The cells that make up our neurons are incredibly sensitive to any changes in the body — and as a result, they can quickly become injured or damaged due to exposure to high blood sugar levels. When this occurs, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy begin to emerge.
Common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy
As more people are being diagnosed with diabetes, symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are becoming more prevalent. Primarily impacting the toes and feet, diabetic neuropathy can also spread to the lower legs, fingers, and hands. Ranging in severity from mild to completely debilitating, some of the most common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Tingling or burning sensations in the affected areas
- Sharp pain or the development of strong and painful cramping
- Partial or complete numbness to the toes and feet
- An inability to feel temperature changes in affected areas
- Increased sensitivity and pain to any amount of pressure
- Chronically cold feet due to poor circulation
- The development of serious foot conditions like pressure ulcers and slow-to-heal infections
Is diabetic neuropathy reversible?
For anyone who has experienced the less than pleasant symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, one of the first questions they bring to their physician is often, “Can you reverse neuropathy?”
As a serious condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to partake in daily activities, it is no wonder that most people want to reverse the damage to control their diabetes-related pain better. Unfortunately, we currently do not have any way of undoing nerve injuries that cause diabetic neuropathy.
But, just because we do not currently have a way to reverse diabetic neuropathy, it doesn’t mean that you will be subjected to a high level of pain for the rest of your life. With a multitude of different treatment and pain management options available for anyone living with diabetic neuropathy, there are ways to help reduce your pain while also slowing the progression of the disease.
Pain management for diabetic neuropathy
When it comes to reducing the severity of the symptoms and pain caused by diabetic neuropathy, your primary care provider may suggest a variety of lifestyle and medical options that are best suited to your unique needs. The majority of the available treatment options for diabetic neuropathy focus on preventing further damage by making healthier lifestyle choices. Some of the most common treatment options for managing pain with diabetes include:
- Monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels: As the primary cause of diabetic neuropathy, finding ways to reduce chronically high blood sugar levels can help slow the disease's progression.
- Maintaining normal blood pressure levels: Hypertension is a common complication in people with poorly controlled diabetes. Capable of damaging the major blood vessels that supply blood to the lower extremities, keeping your blood pressure within normal range is a great way to encourage improved diabetes and pain management.
- Participating in daily exercise: While exercise may be painful at first, choosing to participate in low-intensity activities like walking, swimming, and yoga can help to increase blood flow to the feet. This can help prevent further nervous system damage.
- Taking medications to reduce chronic pain: If your diabetic neuropathy pain is significant enough to impact your day-to-day living, your physician may prescribe pain medication to help reduce the severity of your symptoms. Medications created to treat nerve pain can help manage pain with diabetes.
- Adding foot care into your daily routine: For most people with diabetic neuropathy, symptoms first present themselves in their toes and feet. To prevent the development of foot injuries and infections, taking better care of your feet by doing daily checks and wearing protective non-binding diabetic socks can help to reduce neuropathic pain.
Chronic pain and diabetes - How diabetic socks can help
Diabetic socks are a specialty product designed to provide support and comfort to the feet of people living with diabetes. Different from compression socks, which are designed to apply consistent pressure to the lower extremities, diabetic socks are made to be incredibly stretchy. Able to comfortably fit any size of foot or calf muscle without creating painful pressure marks, Viasox diabetic socks are a must-have component in your diabetic neuropathy pain management plan.
As the first fancy diabetic socks available on the market, Viasox socks offer a wide variety of health benefits, including:
- Relieving numbness caused by diabetic neuropathy
- Helping to reduce swelling and edema of the lower extremities
- Improving blood flow
- Protecting against foot injuries and infections
With all sizes of Viasox diabetic socks capable of accommodating a calf circumference of 30 inches, you can rest assured that wearing our socks will be a comfortable and non-restrictive experience. Available in classic colors or bold and funky patterns, our collections of high-quality diabetic socks will surely have something for everyone!
Buy high-quality diabetic socks online with Viasox
For many people living with diabetes, chronic pain caused by diabetic neuropathy can have a profound impact on their quality of life. Thankfully, with many options to help with managing pain with diabetes, most people living with this condition can continue doing the things they love.
As one of the most effective resources in diabetic neuropathy pain management, high-quality diabetic socks offer plenty of health benefits. Great for providing additional support and comfort to the feet, Viasox non-binding diabetic socks are a must-have in your closet.
Viasox is proud to be the leading provider of high-quality diabetic socks in North America. With bulk or single-pair purchasing options available through our online store, there is no better way to connect to diabetic socks made with fashion and comfort in mind.
Shop our collection of fancy diabetic socks online today to experience the difference that quality makes!