If you find yourself all the sudden having loss of strength, coordination and sensation in your foot, you may be experiencing symptoms of foot drop. Its not a disease, but it could be a sign of an underlying cause. Foot drop is paralysis of the muscles responsible for helping lift the front part of the foot.
Causes of Foot Drop:
- Nerve Injury: Perineal nerve injury, Compression of the nerves of the lower spine, damage to nerves during a hip or knee replacement surgery.
- Brain or Spinal Disorder: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Cerebral Palsy,
- Muscle or Nerve Disorder: Muscular dystrophy, Polio, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Treatment of Foot Drop:
The treatment method of the condition will depend on what caused the Foot Drop. Early treatment seems to work the best, including:
- Foot Brace
- Physical Therapy
Early treatment has been show to be the best in reducing foot drop symptoms not caused by a permanent disorder. Exercises that help strengthen the foot and increase flexibility may prevent further treatment.
Foot Drop Exercises:
- Ankle Rotation: sitting down with your back straight, raise one leg and slightly roll it inward and hold, then slowly turn it outward and hold. Repeat up to six times, alternating legs.
- Heel-Toe Rock: stand with your feet hip-width apart. Rock back and forth from your toes to your heels. Hold for 5 seconds on each up to six times.
- Foot Stretch: sit with both feet straight out, loop a towel over the top of the affected foot and extend the toes. Slowly pull the towel toward your chest for 5 seconds. Repeat up to six times.
- Cycling: the motion of the foot while cycling is helpful and can be done while on a stationary bike, road bike or lying on your back with your feet in the air.