A Combined Treatment Protocol for Patients with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy


PURPOSE: This study investigated whether or not a multimodal physical therapy approach would reduce several of the debilitating symptoms of DPN experienced by patients at William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center. The study used a combined physical therapy approach using MIRE and a standardized balance program. Participants received treatment 3 times each week for 4 weeks. The treatment continued at the same frequency at home until the scheduled 6-month follow up visit.

PATIENT(S): Twenty-one patients diagnosed with DPN completed the 6-month study.

CONCLUSIONS: Various methods were used to measure pain scores. Data were collected for each measure during the initial, 12th clinic visit, 3-month clinic visit and 6-month follow up visit. Overall, testing measurements revealed decreased pain scores, improved sensation, and improved balance and gait scores.

RESULTS: The results support the idea that a combined treatment protocol of MIRE and a standardized exercise program can lead to decreased pain levels, improved balance, and improved protective sensations in veterans with DPN. Alleviation of these DPN complications may ultimately decrease an individual’s risk of injury and improve overall quality of life.