The effect of exercise interventions on the balance of diabetic neuropathic patients: A systematic review study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD student in sport injury and corrective exercise, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran

2 Department of Sports Sciences, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Kish, Iran.

3 Department of Sports Injuries and Corrective Exercises, Faculty of Sports Science, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Background: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) reduces the senses, proprioception, reflexes, and strength in the lower extremities and leads to balance dysfunction.
Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions used by researchers and therapists to minimize balance dysfunction in people with DPN.
Materials and Methods: This study is a comprehensive review of exercise interventions on the balance of patients with diabetic neuropathy by searching in the PubMed Elsevier, Springer, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases with the combined keywords “balance”, “diabetic peripheral neuropathy”, “training interventions”, “proprioception”, “risk of diabetic fall”, “peripheral neuropathy” and also in Persian databases of Jihad Daneshgahi Scientific Information Center, MedLib (Comprehensive Database of Medical Articles), IranMedex, Iran Institute of Information Science and Technology Research Institute (IRANDOC), Iranian Publications Database (MAGIRAN) and with keywords “fall risk”, “profundity” and “postural control in diabetic neuropathic patients” from 2010 to 2021. After collecting the search results, first the title and then the summary of the pieces were studied. If the articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, their results would be used in the review study and otherwise discarded.
Results: Twenty-five studies published between 2010 and 2021 met the inclusion criteria. The results showed that training interventions were more effective than control conditions to improve the balance of patients with diabetic neuropathy. Also, the most training programs and rehabilitation protocols have a positive effect on the balance of patients with diabetic neuropathy.
Conclusion: The studied exercise interventions are an effective tool to improve the balance of diabetic neuropathy patients. However, given the small number of studies and their limitations, the present findings of this study should be considered.