If you suffer from foot drop in one of your feet, your family doctor may recommend you take physical therapy to improve your gait. But if you don't think physical therapy will benefit you, you may find treatment elsewhere. Physical therapy can improve your gait and treat your foot drop (also known as "drop foot") with orthotics therapy. Learn more about foot orthotics therapy and how it can benefit you below.
How Does Foot Drop Affect Your Future?
People who suffer from foot drop find it difficult to move, lift, or bend their forefoot and toes. The condition may occur in the left or right foot of men and women. Foot drop doesn't go away by itself. In most cases, the foot condition can worsen with time.
The most common cause of foot drop is peroneal nerve damage. The peroneal nerve controls the movements in your foot and toes. If you pinch or tear the nerve, you won't be able to point, move, or flex your foot, toes, or both.
Foot drop can make it difficult to lift your foot and leg when you walk. You may drag your foot along the ground when you attempt to walk on it. Some people may develop numbness or paralysis in their foot and toes as well.
If you struggle to move or lift your foot and toes, consult a physical therapist soon. You may qualify for foot orthotics therapy.
How Can Foot Orthotics Therapy Help You?
A physical therapist will need to assess your foot before they choose the right orthotics therapy for it. If your foot condition is extremely bad, a physical therapist may recommend you undergo surgery soon. If your condition is mild, a physical therapist will begin your foot orthotics therapy.
Foot orthotics therapy is a unique treatment designed to strengthen the muscles in the foot and toes. A therapist may use a special device called the ankle-foot orthosis to correct your foot and toes. The device covers and supports the entire area between your knee and toes. When worn properly, the device can keep you from dragging your foot along the floor or ground when you walk.
A physical therapist will need to custom-fit your orthotics to your foot before use. The device must fit comfortably around your calf and shin when you wear it. The device must also be light and easy to lift. If the device is too heavy, it may cause you to drag your foot.
You may need to undergo foot orthotics therapy for an extended time period. A physical therapist will go over your treatment time with you during your appointment.
Learn more about foot drop and how foot orthotics therapy can help you by contacting a physical therapist today.