Drop foot, also called foot drop, is a condition in which the front part of the foot cannot be raised. Drop foot is normally caused by a muscular or neurological disorder such as stroke, cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. People with drop foot drag or scruff their feet along the ground or bend their knees more than normal to lift their foot higher. The disorder may affect one or both feet. Natural treatment is available for drop foot disorder.
Braces and Splints
Your doctor or podiatrist provides you with an orthoses. An orthoses is a hard ankle foot brace that encloses the ankle and slides into your shoe, but does not extend above the knee. The brace keeps the ankle in one position, helping you to walk with a more natural gait, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may be outfitted for a splint that slips inside your shoe and helps support your foot. Shoe inserts that support the front of your foot may also be placed inside your shoe. Orthoses are commonly the first line of treatment for drop foot.
Your doctor may recommend physiotherapy exercises for your drop foot. A physical therapist devises an exercise routine that strengthens muscles in your legs and feet. Your therapist may need to teach you how to walk again if the drop foot is severe. This type of treatment is called gait training. Physiotherapy may take two to three sessions a week over one or two months to see improvement.
Your doctor may offer nerve stimulation as a treatment option. The peroneal nerve that affects the front part of your foot is stimulated by an electrical stimulator. You wear the stimulator strapped to the lower part of your leg. The stimulator releases small electrical pulses that enter your leg and stimulate the nerve. Nerve stimulation is a non-invasive way to help drop foot.
Drop foot is usually the result of another medical condition. See your doctor at the first sign of drop foot as it may be a symptom of a more serious medical problem.