Exercises for Foot Drop

A common foot problem that many people may not even know that exists is called foot drop. If you experience this problem, it may be from peroneal nerve damage. Another common cause is paralysis to the anterior part of the lower leg muscle, but it can also develop from having a number of diseases. This will cause you to develop problems turning your foot and/ or ankle upwards – also known as dorsiflexion. 

Exercise is a good treatment for foot drop in some circumstances. These are usually when the problem stems from weak muscles. If it is more serious than that, usually the person will have to find a way to treat the cause instead of the actual foot drop.

Ankle Rotation

This will require you to sit in a chair with your back straight. Raise one leg in the air, turn your foot inward, and hold for five to ten seconds. Then turn your foot outward and repeat. Repeat each step six times, and as you progress consider adding an ankle weight to help build strength.

Toe-Heel Walk

At your own pace walk 25 steps on your toes. Do this somewhere where you can grab for balance if necessary. Follow this by walking 25 steps on your heels. You can also do a similar exercise by standing facing a wall with your hands pressed against it for support. Raise yourself up onto your toes and hold for five seconds. Repeat 15 times.

Toe Curls

This will also require sitting in a chair. Raise both legs into the air to a parallel position with the floor. Pull your toes inward, hold for five seconds, and then repeat. Do five sets of three and take breaks in between each set.

The Bioness is another common treatment system used to help patients with this condition to enhance their balance and speed when walking. This system is made up of wireless devices, which transmit electrical impulses that are more suitable to individuals that have foot drop due to nerve or muscle damage. It helps them walk easier on different terrains and help to remove the high possibility of the person falling.

Anyone with foot drop should take the first step to find what is causing the problem if they do not already know. Once the underlying problem is discovered, they will know if exercise, the Bioness, or another treatment is the best option. Do not start any treatment plan without first knowing the cause, or it could end up damaging the foot further.

To learn more about exercises and cutting edge orthotic technology can help treat foot drop please call or visit one of Teter Orthotics & Prosthetic’s 20 Michigan locations including Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Petoskey, Cheboygan, Cadillac, Alma and more.