What is Foot Drop?
27 August 2015 | John
Foot drop (also known as drop foot) is a muscular weakness or paralysis which makes it difficult for you to lift the front part of your foot. It’s not a disease, but a sign of an underlying condition and it can be either temporary or permanent. Because it’s not a disease itself, there are a number of different variables to understanding and combating the condition.
What Are The Symptoms Of Foot Drop?
The most obvious symptom of foot drop is difficulty in lifting or moving the front part or your foot. This can cause your toes to drag on the floor, which can lead to you developing a higher gait – as if you were climbing stairs when walking on a flat surface. In some cases it can cause the skin on your feet and toes to become numb.
Ordinarily, foot drop only affects one foot; however it can occur in both feet depending on the underlying cause.
What Are The Causes Of Foot Drop?
Because foot drop is a muscular issue, there are a number of potential underlying causes. The most common cause of foot drop is a nerve injury. There’s a nerve that wraps from the back of the knee to the front of the shin called the peroneal nerve which is very close to the surface of your body. This means it can be very easy to damage. This can be caused by anything from a sports injury to arthritis or even childbirth.
Neurological conditions can also contribute to foot drop. Because they affect the brain and the spine, they can cause weakness in the muscles which control the foot. These include a stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Muscle disorders like muscular dystrophy and motor neurone disease (ALS) can also weaken the muscles needed to control the foot, causing foot drop.
How Can Shoe Insoles Help With Foot Drop?
A special type of shoe insole, called an Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) is one of the main treatments of foot drop. It holds your foot and ankle in a straight position to improve your walking. It stops your foot from dropping, enabling and supporting the correct walking action for your day-to-day life. Many are designed to be as low-profile as possible, so you can wear them inside shoes comfortably.
If you are interested in getting an ankle foot orthoses to support your foot drop, head over to Shoe Insoles and check out our range of Insoles for Foot Drop.