Is diabetes causing my joint and overuse injuries?

What is causing my joint pain? Is it possible to know without many visits to the doctor? Often living with diabetes can make us question the cause of any injury or joint pain. Today we will try and answer the questions above and much more.


Do overuse injuries occur more with those with diabetes or is it a function of getting older? So we should state that overuse injuries commonly occur during athletics like walking, running, tennis or basketball. But due to the change in joint structure after being exposed to hyperglycemia can increase the likelihood of a joint injury. Aging does increase chances of injury during exercise; a recent study showed that 70% of injuries in those over 60 were caused due to overuse while only accounting for 41% of injuries in those in their early 20's.

Joint problems like arthritis, carpal tunnel, and frozen shoulder are more common for those with diabetes due to the change in tendon and joint structure that occurs over time with diabetes. The key to this discussion is "common" this is not a rule but a potential likelihood. We have known many nondiabetics that have developed joint issues while most with diabetes never experience these problems.

You may find activities just as gardening, driving a car for several hours, and cleaning the house may cause joint/overuse pain as we age. We hope that those aches and pains will only last a few days or will not happen at all.

Our best advice is to recognize that diabetes does change the structure of the body and while this shouldn't limit your activities you should realize it can increase the risk of injury. We recommend not overdoing activities, add variety to your exercise, and most importantly remember to rest and recover. If you have any questions, please reach out, and we would love to help.