What does a chiropractor know about diabetes?
During a new patient history after dealing with the main complaint that brought the patient to the office, I will ask some general health questions assessing for things like diabetes.
What does a chiropractor know about diabetes, aren’t they just for backs? A chiropractor’s scope of practice is limited to neuromusculoskeletal conditions, or conditions related to nerves, muscles and bones, however as primary contact health care providers we just as importantly need to know about conditions that we don’t manage.
Getting back to our question, what does a chiropractor know about diabetes? While diabetes is an increasingly common problem, especially Type 2 diabetes that has its onset in middle age, it is often an undiagnosed condition. Research suggests that 3-5% of the adult population are undiagnosed diabetics or prediabetics.
Thus as a chiropractor we need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes so patients can get the care and education they need. Some of these signs and symptoms relate to the neuromusculoskeletal system, such as muscle cramps, numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, weakness, stiff and painful joints, contractures of the hands, back and neck pain. I will assess the vibration sense of the feet as this sense is often lost early in diabetes, leading to problems with balance, falls and possibly injuries to the feet and toes which can heal poorly.
Secondly, as chiropractors we can help treat some of the neuromusculoskeletal conditions associated with the condition. Encouraging activity and exercise is an early treatment for diabetes, this can be hard to do if it hurts to move.
- Conditions that are commonly associated with diabetes that can be helped by chiropractic care are:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Stiff Hands Syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Joint pain
- Dupuytren’s contracture
So hopefully that helps to answer the question, what does a chiropractor know about diabetes?
So if you have diabetes or know someone with diabetes, add me to your healthcare team
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