How Physiotherapy Can Help You Manage Type 2 Diabetes

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Did you know that 11 million Canadians have diabetes or pre-diabetes, and that a Canadian is diagnosed with one of these conditions every 3 minutes? This is impacting the economy severely. “By 2026, an estimated 14 million Canadians will be living with diabetes at a cost of $5 billion to the public health care system,” stated Diabetes Canada.  

How Diabetes Impacts Your Health

Diabetes not only costs money — it also costs people their health and quality of life. While diabetes can be effectively treated when it is caught early, it can be very destructive to the body when left untreated. According to Healthline, untreated diabetes can cause heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage. 

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Those with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin. Those with type 2 diabetes are insulin-resistant and sometimes don’t make enough insulin. Read on to find out how physiotherapy can help you manage type 2 diabetes. 

If You Have Type 2 Diabetes, Physiotherapy Can Help

Type 2 diabetics often work with a team of healthcare professionals to keep their disease in check. The team might be comprised of a general physician, an endocrinologist, a dietician, and an eye doctor. A physiotherapist would make a great addition to this team. If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll likely benefit from physiotherapy because it gets and keeps you active.

For diabetics of any kind, exercising regularly is critical. “Due to the complexity of diabetes and the various conditions that can co-exist with diabetes, it is recommended to seek out a physiotherapist to develop a safe and effective exercise program that is tailored to you,” per

A physiotherapist will create a customized exercise plan for you and then teach you how to perform the prescribed exercises. They will also explain how often to do the exercises, for how long, and at what intensity. Additionally, they will provide some accountability and ensure that you consistently act on your exercise plan. 

Why Physical Activity is Vital for Type 2 Diabetics 

To say that physical activity is important for those with type 2 diabetes is an understatement. Exercise benefits type 2 diabetics in many ways and should be engaged in on a routine basis. One way physical activity benefits those with type 2 diabetes is by helping them lose weight.

Ninety percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, according to Endocrine Web. “By losing weight, people with type 2 diabetes can improve glucose tolerance which is important to be able to use insulin better,” wrote a contributor. “Even more compelling, weight loss will likely protect you from developing common diabetes-related complications like eye diseases (retinopathy), neuropathy (nerve damage especially to your feet, which may lead to amputation), kidney failure, liver damage, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.”

If you have type 2 diabetes and want to better control it, reach out to a physiotherapist to set up an evaluation. If you live near Winnipeg, contact the team at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics.  

Note: In addition to type 2 diabetics, type 1 diabetics and those with pre-diabetes often benefit from physiotherapy treatment as well.

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