Posted on November 23, 2012 by Hannahmelissa54
Drop foot, also known as foot drop, is a nerve and muscular disorder that keeps the front of the foot from lifting, impairing your movement. It caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles below the knee and is sometimes temporary, but is usually permanent. Muscle or nerve injury to the lower spine as well as certain forms of muscular dystrophy and disorders that affect the spinal cord can cause drop foot. Treatments will vary depending on the cause of the condition.
5 Tips for Treating Drop Foot
1. Go to a doctor to have them determine the exact cause. Nerve damage is usually caused by herniated discs in the lower back, neurological damage or spinal cord injury. Testing to figure out the cause can include an MRI and electromyography nerve studies. A physical exam will let you know which examination is needed.
2. You should discuss treatment options and recommended prescriptions with your doctor. If the cause of drop foot comes from a pre-existing medical condition, your symptoms may not go away without the original condition being treated. Neurological disorders with drop foot as a symptom are a lifelong disability; however, drop foot caused by trauma or nerve damage could possibly be corrected.
3. Physical therapy can help correct spine problems that are associated with drop foot. Physical therapy exercises that aim to strengthen the leg muscles and maintain range of motion in the knee and ankle help improve problems with gait.
4. Disorders and Stroke, lightweight leg braces, or shoe inserts are the typical orthotic devices that are used to treat drop foot. They help keep the foot in a normal position to improve movement.
5. Stimulating the nerves that lift the foot helps improve drop foot. Nerve stimulation is done in a medical facility or through a small battery operated device strapped to your leg. A physician referral will be needed to engage in nerve stimulation.
Delray Beach Podiatry
Dr. Ian Goldbaum