Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

4/28/03

Q:
I am a 44 year old type 2 diabetic.....i had a "frozen shoulder" last year and had to have it manipulated by my doctor. I am experiencing other "aches and pains"--i had a heel spur taken out a year ago, and it still bothers me---i get muscle cramps---so bad i will limp for days---and i now have tennis elbow to the point where i can hardly bend my arm..i have tried to get back to my walking routine after the heel spur, but when ever i do any type of extra walking, i cramp so bad for the next few days, that it feels as if my calf or achiles tendon, or my thigh muscle is ripping in half whenever i take a step. is this common with diabetes....please,
my doctor says that it is the diabetes and i need to get exercising again, but i don't think he understands the drastic and severe pain i endure when i try to get back to walking. i used to be quite active, so i know what sore muscles feel like when i have overdone it....this is very different.i walk an extra block, then i hobble for three days.

A:
What you are describing happens to lots of people down the merry path of life, especially when lifestyle has been less than ideal. Also, changing hormones can contribute. With diabetes, the potential for being "out of sync" can be heightened, especially if your diabetes is not in good control. Seek out physical therapy if you cannot manage on your own. Heel spurs are nasty, and do require shoes at the very least. Swimming, yoga, Tai Chi, and similar type activities may be your answer for getting your muscles into the needed tone for supporting your structure. A very clear intestinal tract is also a key to reduced back pain.



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