O&P Intervention Crucial for Successful Friction Management in Patients with Diabetes

CHICAGO – Recent technologies may assist in friction management but require a proper understanding of intervention opportunities including patient education, said one practitioner.

“Friction is misunderstood,” said Mark Payette, CO, research and development manager for Tamarack Habilitation Technologies, here at a workshop the company sponsored at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Meeting and Scientific Symposium. “Friction is not universally a bad thing. It is just a problem when it’s high enough in a certain spot.”

To combat spots of friction or shear force in patients with diabetes, practitioners should be involved in the footwear selection process and cushion and redistribute pressure, when possible, while accommodating whatever foot deformities exist.

Patient education and comfort also play an elevated role in this success.

“Patients do so much for themselves,” Dennis Janisse, CPed, assistant professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, said citing a patient who self-selected to wear two socks and found a reduction in friction.

Take-home messages from the workshop include: practitioners play an important role in education and imparting knowledge and care practices; and should encourage patients to monitor their foot and skin health.

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