Did you know that over 37 million Americans have diabetes? It is the seventh leading cause of death and accounts for $327 billion in healthcare costs. Medical experts found that people with diabetes spend nearly twice as much on medical care than those without.
One of the main reasons diabetic patients experience high medical costs is diabetic foot complications. Have you started searching the internet for "diabetic shoes in Arkansas"? If so, you are already taking the first step in preventing foot pain, ulcers, and deformities.
Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on what diabetic shoes are, the benefits, and how you can find a qualified clinic today, so keep reading for more information!
Why You Need Diabetic Shoes Arkansas
Diabetes and foot injuries are common occurrences. Since diabetes affects how your body uses or responds to insulin, you have a higher risk of elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, it can cause nerve damage.
Nerve damage and impaired skin sensation can lead to ulcers, infections, and amputations. The most common nerve condition for people with diabetes is diabetic neuropathy.
This condition changes how your nerves communicate in your feet and places you at a higher risk for foot complications. Now imagine you put your foot into a poorly fitted shoe. Wearing these shoes all day can increase pressure points and cause skin breakdown. It also increases one's risk of ingrown toenails, callus formation, bunions, and more. Diabetic shoes are one of the solutions to ongoing foot problems and to minimizing future surgeries.
How Do Diabetic Shoes Work?
Diabetic insoles and shoes are primarily designed to prevent pressure points from walking or standing in a shoe. They may be stiffer or have a rocker sole that helps distribute weight and pressure evenly. Here are some other benefits of diabetic shoes and insoles:
- Reduces shock
- Reduces shearing movements
- Better arch support
- Supports deformities
- Relieves foot pain
- Decreases foot deformation risks
- Limits joint motions
You can opt for custom diabetic inserts or a heat-molded insert. When you visit a qualified diabetic shoes Arkansas clinic, they will help you decide which customizable option you need.
Most diabetic shoes fall into various categories. You can have a post-operative shoe designed to support and cushion recent surgeries. It is also expected that you may see shoes with extra depth.
Adding less than an inch to a shoe can increase volume, prevent pressure points, and avoid worsening deformities. Shock-absorbing materials are often used to treat foot injuries and prevent further injuries.
Orthotics vs. Diabetic Insoles
Many people use orthotics and customized shoes interchangeably, but the two are different. Orthotics are shoe inserts designed to be taken out. They effectively change the shoe's shape and how your foot fits, but it doesn't include any external shoe remolding.
Foot orthotics are widely used for more than diabetic foot pain. Other ways orthotics help with foot care are:
- Plantar heel pain
- Tendon dysfunction (e.g., tibialis posterior, peroneal)
- Achilles' tendinitis
You have likely seen a prefabricated shoe insole sold over the counter. These are useful for minor foot pain but are not recommended for managing a foot ulcer or other diabetes foot conditions.
When you search for "diabetic shoes Arkansas," you will also have the option of a completely customized fit with a qualified specialist. This option is more expensive but can provide better support. If you have significant deformities, previous amputations, or worsening foot pain, this option may be more beneficial.
Are Diabetic Socks Helpful?
Diabetic socks use materials that market the concept of keeping your foot dry and preventing ulcers or skin shearing. People with diabetes also have poor circulation, impeding healing and making it more challenging for you to wear shoes and not risk injury.
Here are more benefits of using diabetic socks:
- Moisture-wicking materials
- Designed without seams
- Made of soft materials
- Non-elastic binding
- Padded soles
There are sock options equipped with smart technology that can sense changes in foot temperature, indicating the risk of a pressure sore. Remember, these are different from compression socks. Diabetic socks use various materials and designs that help avoid and reduce pressure and help with shoe insole padding.
Compression stockings promote improved blood flow back to the heart. They constrict blood flow to the foot and are not typically recommended for people with diabetes.
Breaking In Your New Shoes
Whether you have new shoes or shoe inserts, you should pair them with quality socks. Talk to a qualified practitioner first for the best advice on sock materials and brands.
They can help you choose the right materials for your feet. Before using your shoes every day, try these few simple tricks to help break your shoes in:
- Wear them around the house
- Start with 10-minute intervals
- Stretch the shoe manually
It is essential that you regularly perform skin checks after wearing your shoes and check for redness, skin breakdown, or other injuries.
Managing Diabetic Complications
Have you tried searching for "diabetic shoes Arkansas?" Regular medical care can help you manage diabetic complications, reduce health expenses, and improve your quality of life. Proper footwear is the first step to preventing many diabetes foot problems, such as infections, ulcers, and amputations.
How can you get started? The experts at Horton’s Orthotics and Prosthetics specialize in customizable diabetic shoes and insoles that can help you actively treat foot problems or prevent future ones.
Contact us today and find out how we can help you manage your diabetes!