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From treatment to preventive actions: improving function in patients with diabetic polyneuropathy.

Sacco, Isabel C N; Sartor, Cristina D.
Diabetes Metab Res Rev; 32 Suppl 1: 206-12, 2016 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | 2016 | ID: mdl-26452065
Resumo: Diabetic polyneuropathy is an insidious and long-term complication of this disease. Synergistic treatments and preventive actions are crucial because there are no clear boundaries for determining when health professionals should intervene or what intervention would best avoid the consequences of neuropathy. Until now, most therapies to any diabetic individual were applied only after the patient's limb was ulcerated or amputated. The loss of muscle and joint functions is recognized as the main cause of plantar overloading. However, if foot and ankle exercises are performed following the early diagnosis of diabetes, they can enable the patient to maintain sufficient residual function to interact with the environment. This article summarizes the current knowledge about the musculoskeletal deficits and biomechanical alterations caused by neuropathy. It also describes the potential benefits of foot and ankle exercises for any diabetic patient that is not undergoing the plantar ulcer healing process. We concentrate on the prevention of the long-term deficits of neuropathy. We also discuss the main strategies and protocols of therapeutic exercises for joints and muscles with deficits, which are applicable to all diabetic patients with mild to moderate neuropathy. We describe further efforts in exploiting the applicability of assistive technologies to improve the adherence to an exercise program. Following the contemporary trends towards self-monitoring and self-care, we developed a software to monitor and promote personalized exercises with the aim of improving autonomous performance in daily living tasks. Initiatives to prevent the complications of functional diabetes are highly recommended before it is too late for the patient and there is no longer an opportunity to reverse the tragic consequences of neuropathy progression.