APTA Responds to USA Today on Diabetes

November 19, 2008

Dear Editor:

As both the prevalence of diabetes and the costs associated with it continue to rise, it is crucial that people with diabetes be made aware of evidence-based strategies that can help them manage this disease in a cost-effective manner, without the serious side effects of certain diabetes drugs.

A study published in the November 2008 issue of Physical Therapy (PTJ), the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), found that patients with diabetes who participated in a program combining aerobic and high-force eccentric resistance exercise showed improvement in glucose control, physical performance, and body fat composition.

While aerobic exercise is what is typically recommended for treating people with diabetes, this study shows that adding a high-force strength training component leads to improved thigh lean tissue which, in turn, may be an important way for patients to increase resting metabolic rate, protein reserve, exercise tolerance, and functional mobility.

Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed healthcare professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - without expensive and painful surgery or the side effects of medications.

Readers can learn more about conditions physical therapists treat at www.moveforwardpt.com, and may find a physical therapist in their area at www.findapt.us.


R Scott Ward, PT, PhD
American Physical Therapy Association