Ask The Experts

Getting foot massages tend to help with my foot fatigue. Are there any clinical cautions regarding foot massage [for people with diabetes]?

The short answer to this question is that you should consult your doctor.  At IPFH we recommend that people with diabetes consult their doctors because diabetes is a metabolic disorder that impacts nearly everything you do with your body, including your diet, your exercise, and all aspects of your health.  From this perspective, it always makes sense to talk with your doctor about the benefits and potential risks of any form of complementary treatment, as well as all aspects of dietary, exercise and medication regimens.

We are aware of an article published in Diabetes Spectrum, a peer-review journal of the American Diabetes Association.  This article is entitled “Is Massage Useful in the Management of Diabetes? A Systematic Review.”  Here is a link to the full article.  It deals primarily with therapeutic massage for helping manage and control diabetes; but we believe the information in this article is appropriate for your situation, and should inform your approach to foot massage.  The article points out that there is some evidence that massage can have benefits; but the research is not absolutely conclusive. 

We strongly advise that massage, including foot massage and/or reflexology, should ONLY be done under the advice and supervision of your doctor.  If your doctor is not already aware of your use of foot massage, you should consult him or her immediately for recommendations and guidelines for your use of this technique.  This will help ensure your best outcome over the long term.

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