The Foot In Diabetes

Type two diabetes is now so common, it is almost as though we have become complacent about this. The incidence is rising in most places despite public health interventions are trying to take care of the obesity crisis that is supporting the diabetes issue. Diabetes has a number of complications which join collectively to put the feet at considerable risk from complications. These complications vary from a slight infection up to the more severe complications like a need to amputate a limb due to a spreading infection or dead tissue. The complications associated with all forms of diabetes have an impact on a wide variety of tissues within the body.
In terms of the foot, diabetes impacts the blood supply and therefore any problems for the foot is more prone to be serious because there is inadequate good circulation to permit healing to occur. Diabetes also damages the nerves, so that if there is some injury, either major or minor like a blister, then no pain is felt, so the foot continues to be traumatised resulting in the much more serious. The body has numerous functions to battle infection, but in diabetes the reaction to an infection is much more sluggish compared with those not having diabetes. Diabetes may also affect the eye and while the eyes are quite a distance from the feet, appropriate vision is required to see any problems that may have happened to the foot so it may be dealt with. Even the kidney disease that frequently occurs in diabetes impacts wound healing once the injury has been done and the presence of disease in the renal system may affect which drugs, for example antibiotics, may be used and sometimes that range can be very restricted.
It is for all these reasons, and many more not brought up, that those with diabetes have to take special care of their feet. They have to examine them routinely to make sure that there is no injury and if there is an injury they have to get medical attention promptly. Most importantly, they need to be regularly managed by a foot doctor.

Cuboid Syndrome

The cuboid is a smaller cube shaped bone on the lateral side of the foot around about the center of the foot. The bone is a little bigger than a common gaming dice. The bone participates in three joints and operates as a lever for the tendon of the peroneus longus muscle to pass under. Since this is a strong muscle it can move the cuboid bone too much if it is not secure and strain those joints that the bone is a part of resulting in a ailment known as cuboid syndrome. This is probably one of the more common causes of pain on the outside of the foot, generally in athletes. The pain commonly begins quite mild and is located around where the cuboid bone is on the outside of the foot. The pain is only at first present during activity. If the exercise levels are not lessened the problem will most likely progress and then show up after exercise in addition to during. From time to time the pain can radiate down into the foot. Although this is the commonest reason for pain in this area, there are others like tendinopathy and nerve impingements.

The main management of cuboid syndrome is relief of pain. This is normally done with a reduction in exercise levels and the using of low dye strapping to immobilise and support the cuboid. Mobilisation and manipulation is frequently used to fix this condition. Over the longer term foot orthoses may be required to control the movement and support the lateral arch of the foot. This helps make the cuboid more stable so it is an efficient lever or pulley for the tendon to function around. Generally this approach works in most cases. If it doesn’t there are no surgical or more advanced treatments and a further reduction in activity amounts is usually the only option.

Cracked Heels

crackedheel

Cracks in the epidermis at the back of the heel are frequent, are painful, and do not appear very good. They happen when the fat pad beneath the heel expands out side to side beneath the foot and the dried-out skin cracks or splits to create a heel fissure. A great way to fully understand them is to use the example of a tomato being squashed. When you apply force to the tomato to squash it, the skin around the tomato cracks as the insides forces outwards. So it is with the heel. As bodyweight compresses the fat under the heel it stretches out sideways from underneath the heel, it tries to tear the skin around the perimeter of the heel. If this succeeds or not is going to depend on how supple and strong that the epidermis is. If the skin is dry, thicker or callused, it will tear quickly. If the skin is thicker with a layer of callus, that skin will crack easily and put a strain on the healthy skin below that will become somewhat painful, sometimes bleeding. Every step that is taken with further open the split and prevent it from getting better. This is more prevalent in those that use open heel type shoes, as a closed in shoe can help keep the fat pad beneath the heel in position and help avoid or lessen the effects of this.

The most effective short term relief of cracked heels is to have the callused skin cut back by a podiatrist and then use tape to hold the edges of the crack together so that it can heal. The long term prevention of cracked skin around the heel ought to be clear from the process that was explained above. To begin with, weight loss will help decrease the problem, but this is a long term concern. To help stop the fat pad beneath the heel from broadening out sideways and trying to split the skin, a closed in shoe needs to be worn and in some cases the use of deep heel cup orthotics can help. A foot doctor should really be seen regularly to debride any thick callused skin. Creams ought to be used regularly to keep the skin supple so that it does not fissure. The use of filing tools to maintain the thick skin in check can also be used.

Chinese Foot Binding

There is a historic technique from rural China which involved the binding of the feet of female children to prevent them from growing. It was a brutal process and was debilitating and disabling to the feet. It was carried out as a smaller sized foot was considered an attractive feature in the female and a higher dowry can be asked for by the family for the bride-to-be when the feet had been bound. There was a considerable market in these rural communities for the ornamental and finely crafted shoes that these girls would need to wear because of the smaller and deformed feet. More than 100 or so years ago cultural pressures began to mount to ban the practice and this generally was successful and it is not done any longer. The practice had to stop as it was so disabling and painful for the child. When they became an adult, the damage had been done and there is not much that could be done to manage the suffering and deformity. Having said that, you will still find many elderly woman still living that had their feet bound when they were little girls.

You will find theoretically parallels to this practice of chinese foot binding that may be seen nowadays. A number of experts try to link the practice these days of females who force their feet into the high heel shoes as being the same as the foot binding. In rural China the practice was all about the female doing something that pleases the male, no matter the outcomes in terms of pain and deformity. The practice today of wearing tight fitting high heel shoes by females has consequences in the terms of foot disability and foot pain. It is also apparently done in the context of the female doing something which is pleasing to the eye of the man. There is some disagreement if the connection between the two practices really do warrant the type of evaluation that they have been put through.