Unfortunately, foot difficulties are one of the main side-effects of diabetes, and these issues can be a huge concern for both patients and doctors. Neuropathy, lesions and even amputation, in severe cases, can all result from diabetic foot complications. Proper diabetic footwear, preventative care and on-going diabetic treatments are the most effective ways to keep from a serious outcome.
While diabetic footwear has been available for decades, and seem to be effective overall, they are not equally effective for all patients. That’s why the DiaBSmart project was initiated. Led by Stafford University’s Nachi Chockalingam, this project aims to make a new generation of diabetic footwear which considers each individual patient’s diabetic shoe needs because one model does not fit all in this situation.
Diabsmart- Cutting Edge Diabetic Footwear
DiaBSmart is an $860,000 project, funded by the European Commission to create cutting-edge, diabetic footwear. The project has been active since 2012, and its fruits could be a reality in the near future for those suffering from diabetic foot ailments,
DiaBSmart utilizes a diabetic foot assessment to determine the needs of its wearer. According to the Medical Press, the assessment considers the “patient’s weight and walking pattern as well as taking into account the mechanical properties of the fat pad underneath the foot.” Additional attributes which alter the assessment’s results are the person’s range of motion, ankle strength and foot alignment. This is assessment is scientifically designed, based on all these attributes, to find the most beneficial cushioning for the patient.
While this may seem like a pretty easy way to measure shoe needs, the process is very intricate. Both dynamic and static measurements of the patient’s foot functions are taken using various ultrasound, magnetic resonance and pressure plates with integrated plantar pressure systems. These wonderful researchers have basically developed a science for diabetic shoe fitting.
After these assessments, the researchers use a type of SMART insole material to minimize and redistributed pressure on the plantar area of the feet, protecting the soft tissue, and slowing down degradation of sensation, as well as restoring normative pressure distribution to the feet.
These researchers are also learning about factors for foot ailments in diabetic patients. According to Lower Extremity Review Magazine, the researchers found that “normal pressure differential gradients were 6.25 times higher in patients with diabetes than in controls, a factor that may be an independent predictor in diabetic foot ulceration.” The project endeavors to reduce the chance of limb loss due to diabetic foot struggles.
While these shoes may be the answer to many diabetics’ foot conditions, the best medicine for any ailment is proper preventative care and regular check-ups. So, don’t forget to schedule an appointment with Foot and Ankle Center of Northern Colorado while waiting for those miracle shoes!!