Are Foot Massagers Good for Diabetics?

March 17, 2021 • Our Blog • diabetesdiabetic foot carefoot carefoot paintoe pain

Foot massagers can increase blood circulation for people with diabetes, but they aren’t for everyone. Learn about the benefits and what to keep in mind before getting a massager. People with diabetes often experience chronic foot pain or numbness. Under those circumstances, it’s natural to be interested in possible at-home remedies. One popular solution that abounds across the internet is the foot massager, a machine that easily plugs in at home and massages your feet while you sit back and relax.  If you suffer from diabetes or know someone who does, you likely already know that keeping your feet healthy is a top priority. From increased risk for cuts and burns, various types of nerve damage, and decreased blood circulation due to your high blood sugar and the resulting damage to your vessels, there are a lot of reasons to be wary about putting any machines — including massagers — near your feet. Fortunately, foot massagers are generally considered to be a good option for diabetics, but that recommendation comes with a few important caveats.

Why Are Foot Massagers Good for Diabetics?

Improving blood circulation is a good idea in a variety of circumstances, including when a person is dealing with diabetes and is seeing a reduction in circulation in their feet. Not only can a foot massager stimulate blood circulation in your feet and calves, increasing the oxygen in your blood and giving you an automatic energy boost, it can also offer some relief for painful feet as it helps you relax and even relieve some muscle stress.  There are many benefits to increasing blood circulation. For people with diabetes in particular, it can help prevent the further weakening of your feet and can improve the speed at which wounds heal. When used correctly, a foot massager can even increase mobility for diabetics as they start getting more blood down to their feet. 

What to Consider Before Getting a Foot Massager

With so many benefits, it’s natural to want to rush to a store to get a foot massager right away — but before you pull out your credit card, there are a few things you need to consider. While some people with diabetes might experience substantial benefits from using a foot massager, others may face unnecessary health risks by using the device.  When you live with diabetes, you have to be examining your feet constantly even in the best of circumstances. You need to always be on the alert for any wounds or sores as well as any soreness, scratches, or changes in feeling, including numbness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms — especially open wounds or nerve damage — you need to see a doctor before you invest in any device that will be putting added pressure on your feet.  In particular, if you have diabetic neuropathy, which causes numbness and a lack of sensation in the feet and legs, a massager may carry added risks. That’s because the heat generated by the massager can cause burns on your feet that you may not notice right away due to the lack of sensation.  If you want to feel safe and confident when using a foot massager, or even when getting a standard foot massage, the best bet is to see a foot specialist who can help determine the potential risks and benefits for you. At Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group, our foot professionals can help you understand whether a foot massager can help you feel better and can even guide you toward the best product for your specific condition. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to schedule an appointment. 

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