According to most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 37.3 million people suffer from diabetes, roughly 11.3% of the U.S. population. And one of the most common complications of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. The first signs of symptoms are typically numbness, pain or tingling in the feet or lower legs. Peripheral neuropathy can lead to a host of other health issues as well. Read on to learn how massage therapy can be a natural alternative to managing these symptoms for some people.
While more research is needed, a small 2015 study found that Thai foot massage had a positive effect on people with peripheral neuropathy. A group of 60 people suffering from type 2 diabetes were given a 30-minute foot massage, three times per week for two weeks. Participants showed significant improvements in range of motion, their ability to stand up from a seated position, and foot sensation.
Another study published in 2017 found foot massage to have benefits for those with diabetes. In this study, a group of 38 people with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that foot massage led to an increase in balance and mobility for participants.
While more research is needed to determine additional benefits, there are some promising results out there. Talk to your massage therapist about foot massage to see what might work best for your symptoms. Examples of the types of massage that have shown promise for those with peripheral neuropathy include Thai foot massage, traditional Chinese massage, Swedish massage, among other foot massage techniques. And ask your massage therapist to see if they accept your insurance as some types of massage are covered if deemed medically necessary. Give your therapist a call to make an appointment today!