Diabetes leg pain

Diabetes leg pain

Pain, cramps or tiredness in the legs is not only a sign of aging. These can be symptoms of diabetes complications. Leg pain and cramps are quite common for people with diabetes and occur as a result of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. The majority of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, which makes it the most common complication.


Diabetes causes blood glucose levels to rise. The high glucose levels in the blood cause damage to the nerves. This condition is called neuropathy and usually starts in the legs and feet and spreads to the arms and legs. Common symptoms of nerve damage are burning feeling, numbness, tingling, stinging, cramps and shooting pain. Experiencing both burning and numbness is the most common symptom.

Consequences of diabetes leg pain

Most people with diabetes who have damaged nerves experience a loss of feeling followed by a burning sensation where that feeling has been lost. If these symptoms aren’t being taken care of, they are likely to progress. In the worst case, it can lead to lower leg amputation.

Managing diabetes leg pain

The most important thing to manage diabetes leg pain and lower the risk of complications is to keep blood glucose levels balanced. To ease the pain, there are several types of medication available. Over-the-counter painkillers can help alleviate mild pain. Prescribed medication can help with severe pain.

Lifestyle changes

A part from taking medication and monitoring blood glucose levels, physical therapy can also help a great deal. Certain exercises may ease diabetes leg pain. It’s also advised to take short, frequent walks or ride a bike to increase blood flow. Furthermore, a healthy diet is important for the relief of leg pain.

It’s important to discuss any form of pain with a doctor. If symptoms become more frequent, this can be a sign of the condition getting worse.