How Diabetes Causes Joint Pain by Dr Niraj Vora

Diabetes Mellitus is a condition where a person loses his ability to find the energy in food. This is a chronic and life-long. We all know that there are three types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. The human body breaks down the sugars and carbohydrates which is eaten into a special sugar called glucose. It fuels the cells in the body but the cells need a hormone called insulin to transform glucose to energy. In the diabetic patients, the body does not produce enough insulin, thus the glucose cannot be changed into energy. Hence the glucose level builds up in the blood, it leads to the damage of tissues, vessels and nervous system.  And what most of the patients is not aware of is that the diabetes can actually worsen their joint pain or even cause one if not present before.

Diabetic Arthropathy is a medical term for the condition when diabetes damages joint and causes joint pain in diabetes. Arthropathy takes long time to get recognized and identifies other symptoms like thick skin, changes in the feet, painful shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome. There are different forms of joint pain from diabetic arthropathy; charcot’s joint, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Charcot’s joint occurs when nerve damage is the main cause for a joint break down. This is mainly seen in the feet and ankles which further leads to muscle pain in diabetes. Osteoarthritis can be observed very commonly and can be caused by excess weight because this makes bones rub against each other. This also increases the difficulty in moving the limbs. The only way to treat OA is by reducing the weight. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease caused by inflammation. The exact causes of RA are still unknown but family history is one of them. The two main features of RA are pain and swell. Unfortunately, there are no treatments for RA but can reduce the inflammation with medicines. This is how we can come to a conclusion that diabetes causes joint pains. Just like there are different forms of diabetes, there are also different forms of pains. Diabetes knee pain is one among them.

Diabetic shoulder which is otherwise known as frozen shoulder is a condition in which a particular area of the shoulder joint will be swollen and thickened. The pain followed by decreased mobility, pain and persistent stiffness in the shoulder. It is not being proved that the diabetes is the only cause for this condition, but the symptoms of the frozen shoulder can say that the person is suffering from diabetes. They are much more severe and harder to treat.

If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned pain symptoms in joints and knees. Check the below treatment options listed.

  • Biofeedback
  • Acupuncture
  • Neurostimulation Therapy
  • Massage Therapy
  • Physical Therapy/ Chiropractic Care
  • TENS Unit (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)