How to Avoid Diabetes-Related Pain

The burning and numbness of neuropathy can be managed.

Health Monitor Staff
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Neuropathy, a form of nerve damage that often goes hand-in-hand with chronically high blood sugar, affects 60% to 70% of people with diabetes. But here’s good news: You can tame it by...

Not putting extra pressure on your body. That means no crossing your knees or leaning on your elbow, which may cause new nerve damage.

Massaging your hands and feet. Doing so improves circulation and stimulates nerves, temporarily relieving pain.

Exercising regularly. Keeping active helps control blood sugar levels, and of course helps keep your weight under control.

Showing your feet some love. Check your feet daily for any signs of blisters, cuts or sores. Since nerve damage can cause lack of feeling in your feet, these can go unnoticed and may become infected or ulcerated.

Don’t suffer unnecessarily! In addition to prescription drugs, some over-the-counter pain meds—like acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen—can provide relief. They’re often best used regularly throughout the day rather than waiting until pain becomes severe. And applying creams that contain capsaicin to tender areas may block pain signals. Speak to your healthcare provider to see if these options are for you.

January 2013