Diabetes is on the increase and causing a substantial health challenge in Australia and worldwide. An estimated 1.7 million Australians are currently living with this disease.

Whilst there is no known cure for diabetes, there are various areas, like exercise and having a well balanced diet, that play a vital role in its prevention and management.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels. Our bodies require glucose (sugar) from food to function properly by converting it into energy. Insulin, a crucial hormone produced by the pancreas, regulates this process. It enables glucose to be absorbed from the bloodstream into cells. However, in diabetes, this process is disrupted, leading to high blood glucose levels as the glucose remains in the bloodstream instead of being absorbed into cells.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, typically accounting for about 10% of diabetes cases. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes manage their condition by injecting insulin or using an insulin pump since the body cannot produce sufficient insulin on its own. This type of diabetes has a genetic component and cannot be prevented.

Type 2 diabetes, which constitutes 85-90% of diabetes cases, occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to insulin’s effects. While it typically develops in adults over 45, it is increasingly diagnosed in younger individuals due to lifestyle factors like diet, physical activity, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Gestational diabetes, the third type, can develop during pregnancy around the 24th to 28th week and usually resolves after childbirth. It affects between 12% to 14% of pregnant women and is associated with pregnancy-related changes in hormone levels.

Overall, diabetes is a significant health concern requiring management to prevent complications associated with prolonged high blood sugar levels.

Lower Back

How can Physiotherapy help individuals with Diabetes?

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing diabetes by addressing several key aspects of the condition.


One significant benefit is its ability to enhance circulation, which is often compromised in diabetic individuals. Improved circulation helps in reducing the risk of complications such as diabetic neuropathy, which can lead to loss of sensation and pain in the extremities.


Furthermore, physiotherapy aids in maintaining optimal flexibility and mobility. Diabetes can sometimes cause stiffness and limited joint mobility, which can be alleviated through targeted exercises and stretching routines prescribed by physiotherapists. These exercises not only enhance physical capabilities but also contribute to better overall health and quality of life for diabetic patients.


Another vital aspect of physiotherapy in diabetes management is its role in promoting weight management and overall fitness. Physical activity is crucial for managing blood sugar levels and preventing complications associated with obesity, which is a common concern among diabetic individuals.

Exercise can help control diabetes in the following ways –

  • Helps control and lower blood sugar levels
  • Helps insulin to work better with cells using more glucose
  • Lowers body fat
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.


Additionally, physiotherapists can educate patients about proper foot care, a critical aspect of diabetes management. Regular foot examinations and appropriate footwear recommendations can help prevent foot ulcers and infections, which are prevalent in diabetic patients due to impaired circulation and sensation.

What is involved in a Physiotherapy Consultation?

Whether you have diabetes or are looking at ways to prevent it, your physiotherapist will –

  • Conduct an assessment of your physical condition. This includes muscle strength, balance and co-ordination and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Create a personalised exercise program to suit. This will help to lose weight or fat, improve balance, increase muscle strength and stamina.
  • Review and alter the program regularly, in order to continue improvement and limit risk of injury.

Physiotherapy Services at Sandgate Physical Health Clinic

Physiotherapy is an integral part of the multidisciplinary approach to managing diabetes. By focusing on circulation improvement, mobility enhancement, weight management, and foot care education, physiotherapists contribute significantly to improving the quality of life and reducing the complications associated with diabetes.

Our team of professional Physiotherapists are highly experienced in managing this condition.

BOOK ONLINE NOW or call us on 07 3869 1099.

Lower Back