Physiotherapy a Useful Tool in the Battle Against Diabetes

An estimated 3.6 million Malaysians are suffering from diabetes and an alarming seven million adults, are estimated to be affected by diabetes in Malaysia by 2025. According to the Ministry of Health, this is the highest rate of incidence in Asia and one of the highest in the world.

This is a worrying trend that will see a diabetes prevalence rate of 31.3 per cent for adults aged 18 and above.
The impact of diabetes on society is substantial as it can impose a large economic burden on people with diabetes and their families in terms of sky-high medical bills and loss of family income associated with disability and premature death.

In line with this important issue, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) in collaboration with the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, organized a 2-day workshop focusing on the physiotherapy management of orthopaedic complications of diabetic patients

The workshop featured an expert in the field of Physiotherapy from India, Mr Venkatakannan. He is a senior physiotherapist with more than 20 years of experience in the field of Physical Rehabilitation and Research. He is currently serving in the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) for more than 12 years and he has served in various countries like Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Laos, Cambodia and Iraq as a rehab advisor, rehab manager, physical rehabilitation clinical coordinator and senior physiotherapist.

20 participants comprising of students and practising physiotherapists from all walks of life, were exposed to methods in correctly assessing and evaluating a diabetic patient for vascular, neurologic and orthopaedic complications. Mr Venkatakannan also demonstrated hands-on manual techniques to manage peripheral joint dysfunctions.

Contrary to popular belief, Physiotherapy is not only to strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery. It is a useful tool in the battle against diabetes for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it allows the patient to achieve a healthy weight. Being obese or overweight is a major risk factor for diabetes. Exercising with a physiotherapist can help reduce the risk of further complications in other areas, as well as improve the overall quality of life for the patient. The prescribed exercises can help to lower blood glucose levels.

Furthermore, a common symptom amongst diabetics is fatigue, so many people may gradually become more sedentary and put themselves at risk of gaining weight. Working closely with a physiotherapist can help to control this and patients can be on a steady path to recovery.

Although there is no cure for diabetes, but many of its symptoms are physical. Physiotherapy can help not only to relieve these symptoms but also to improve a person’s condition and quality of life overall.

CUCMS believes in organizing such workshops and training will produce graduates and health science professional who are competent and are up to date with all the new medical advancements in the world today. In line with the mission of CUCMS, the University believes that each student must be equipped with industry requirements in order to be highly employable.

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