Diabetes causes severalchanges in your musculoskeletal systemaffecting your extremities, spine, shoulder, and other joints.Thismay be the result of diabetic complications such as damage to nerve endings (diabetic neuropathy) which resultsin loss of sensation, damage to blood vessels, and the presence of other comorbid conditionssuch as obesity. Here are 7 ways diabetes affects your bone and joint health:
- Charcot Joint: Also known as neuropathic arthropathy, the condition is characterized by joint deterioration due to nerve damage. It usually affects the feet and causing redness, swelling, and deformity. Early detection and using orthotic supports may help preserve the integrity of the joint.
- Dupuytren's Contracture: This is a deformity in which the fingers of the hand progressively bend towards the palm. It is caused by thickening and scarring of connective tissue. Those who have had diabetes for a long time are likely to develop this condition. Steroid and collagenase enzymeinjections,and minimally invasive surgery may help break apart the connective tissueto improve finger mobility.
- Frozen Shoulder: Diabetics are at a high risk of developing frozen shoulder which results in loss of range of motion and shoulder pain. Typically, only one shoulder is affected. Early and aggressive physical therapy may help preserve joint function.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The condition is caused when a nerve in the wrist becomes pinched causing tingling, numbness, and pain.Use of splints may help relieve symptoms,and in severe cases,surgery may be required to release the pinched nerve.
- Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH): The condition is characterized by hardening of the ligaments/tendons and abnormal bone growth. It is usually seen in people with diabetes type 2. Treatment involves the use of medications to control pain,and in severe cases surgery to remove extra bone.
- Osteoarthritis: The condition is characterized by breakdown of cartilage tissue resulting in swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints.People with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk for developing this condition.Pain medications, physical therapy, and regular exercise may help preserve joint range of motion and function.
- Osteoporosis: This is aweakening of bonedue to demineralization that occurs over several years. People with type 1 diabetes are at an increased riskfor osteoporosis. As the condition worsens, you may develop a stooped posture,loss of height, and increased risk for fracture.Eating a bone-healthy diet rich in calcium & vitamin D as well asperforming weightbearing exercises will help improve bone mass.
If you have diabetes, prompt treatment of any orthopedic injuries is critical to ensuring good bone and joint health.
NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.