Balance and gait in individuals with diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Korkusuz S., Seçkinoğulları B., Yürük Z. Ö., Uluğ N., Kibar S.

Neurological Research, vol.46, no.1, pp.14-22, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01616412.2023.2257445
  • Journal Name: Neurological Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS
  • Page Numbers: pp.14-22
  • Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, gait, limit of stability, pain, postural balance
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) causes various physical problems such as the increased risk of falling, loss of balance and coordination while standing or walking, susceptibility to injuries due to sensory loss. Aims: The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare the effects of neuropathic pain (NP) in individuals with DPN on balance and gait. Methods: This prospective controlled study was conducted on 42 adults aged between 40–65 years. The participants were divided into three groups; individuals with DPN and NP (DPN+NP/n = 14), individuals with DPN without NP (DPN-NP/n = 14), and the control group (n = 14), respectively. The Force Plate system and Core Balance System measured static and dynamic postural balance and stability limits. Gait and dynamic plantar pressure distribution analyses were performed with a computerized gait evaluation system. Results: The score of LANSS, and VAS during gait were higher in DPN+NP group than in DPN-NP (p < 0.05). No significant difference was observed between the groups in balance parameters (p > 0.05). The right-left heel maximum forces were lower in both groups with DPN compared to the control group (p < 0.05). In terms of spatiotemporal parameters of the gait, there was a difference between the groups only in step width and left single support line parameters (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the individuals with DPN have an increased step width, their left single support line was shortened, and the maximum force on the heel decreased. The NP did not cause any change in balance and gait parameters.