If you have foot ulcers and lower limb pain | Diabetes Hub

Check out our list of recommended exercises for diabetics who have foot ulcers or suffering from lower limb pain.

Physical Activity

If you have foot ulcers or lower limb pain

Non-weight bearing exercises

If you have a foot ulcer or have difficulty exercising while standing, you can modify your exercises.
You should still aim to include aerobic, resistance and flexibility exercises while avoiding periods of being sedentary/inactive.

Non-weight bearing aerobic exercises

Arm cycling, supine air cycling, seated marching, seated dance exercise.​
Depending on the location of your ulcer, you may be able to use the recumbent exercise bike at a low intensity. Discuss this with your podiatrist.

Non-weight bearing resistance exercises

Upper body:

While seated, certain exercises such as shoulder press, lateral raises, biceps curl, reverse flyers, chest press (band/free weights), seated row (band), lats pull down (band) and abdominal curl/seated reverse crunch can be performed.

Lower body:

Straight leg raises (supine and long sit), side lying hip abduction, knee extension (ankle weights/band), prone hip extension, knee flexion (ankle weights/band).​

Depending on the location of your ulcer, you may be able to do seated calf press (band), double/single leg bridge.

Non-weight bearing flexibility exercises

Upper body:

While seated, consider performing exercises such as chest stretch, deltoid stretch, neck stretches, triceps stretch and forearm stretch.​

Lower body:

Some examples of exercises include side lying quads stretch, seated calf stretch using towel, seated hamstring stretch and seated gluteal stretch.

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