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What Causes Diabetes Joint Pain?



A whopping 34.2 million people in America have diabetes. Of these, a large fraction experience joint pain. Owing to the human body’s inability to use the insulin hormone or produce enough insulin, one may develop diabetes.

In most cases, diabetics report experiencing acute or chronic pain. What’s the connection? Can diabetes cause joint pain?

Diabetes can cause a host of symptoms, including joint pain. But what causes diabetes joint pain and how can you find relief? Read more here.

Understanding the Link Between Diabetes and Joint Pain

For a diabetic, failure to seek the right treatment can open a can of worms leading to severe pain among other symptoms. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas cannot produce insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you can produce insulin but not to the appropriate levels.

The type of diabetes variant you have can cause different types of joint pain. Generally, untreated diabetes can cause musculoskeletal pain and nerve damage.

Here’s a closer look at different ways diabetes can cause joint pain.

For you interest, have a look at the Different Stages Of Diabetic Foot Ulcer?

Musculoskeletal Pain

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to musculoskeletal issues. Not taking the right diabetes treatment often causes the slow deterioration of the musculoskeletal system. Owing to joint damage, most diabetics have limited joint mobility.

Also, one may experience changes in the small blood vessels and Nerve Pain. These changes harbor a host of other diabetes joint problems and symptoms including:

  • Thickening of skin around the fingers
  • Trigger finger
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Frozen shoulder

Musculoskeletal problems crop up in untreated diabetics due to joint stiffness, pain, and inflammation.

Charcot’s Joint

Also known as Neuropathic Arthropathy, Charcot’s joint comes as a result of nerve damage in diabetics. Here, one feels symptoms like numbness on the ankles and feet. If it goes untreated, one may completely lose sensation in these areas. Diabetics with untreated Charcot’s joint can develop physical deformities or have permanent joint damage.

Keeping an eye out for some of the symptoms may prevent extensive damage. They include:

  • Numbness
  • Joint pain
  • Changes in the shape and color of your feet
  • Redness or swelling

If you are diagnosed with Charcot’s joint, avoid using the foot to make room for healing. If you have to move, consider wearing diabetic shoes for men to minimize damage and to ease the pressure off the joints.


A CDC report revealed that about half of the people diagnosed with diabetes also have arthritis. Having type 1 or type 2 diabetes determines the arthritis variant you may have.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Most people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis also have Type 1 diabetes and vice versa. Both conditions are autoimmune disorders. Here, your immune system attacks both the healthy and unhealthy parts of the body. This leads to swelling, pain, and physical deformities in the joints.


On the other hand, Osteoarthritis is a condition commonly found in people who are overweight. Note that being overweight or obese can increase your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes symptoms occur when there’s excessive weight put on the joints.

Read Also: 4 Different Types of Arthritis You Should Know

Diabetes Joint Pain Treatment

Do you have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes? Changing your lifestyle habits and exercising are some of the ways you can avoid the difficulties that come with diabetes joint pain. But nothing tops getting the right treatment to eliminate diabetes symptoms and maintain your insulin levels.

Visit our blog for more insight on the care and treatment options available for diabetics.

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