Foot drop is a problem that affects many people, and it can result from a number of underlying causes. In case you are not aware, foot drop is a health condition in which the afflicted person has trouble using their feet in a normal way.
Since those affected by this condition have trouble lifting the front portion of their foot, that foot will tend to drop toes-first pointing at the floor. Thus, the name of this condition is a very literal one. Here are five other facts that you should know about foot drop, especially if it affects you.
1. Foot Drop Is Most Often Caused By Nerve Issues
Your nerves are kind of like electrical wires that control your entire body. The brain sends electrical impulses to your limbs whenever you want them to move, prompting them to perform the desired movement.
Your nerves are the conduits through which these electrical impulses are sent and received. Thus, nerve damage will often result in movement problems like these. As you can see from this report, nerve damage is the most common cause of foot drop.
2. It Can Be Corrected With An AFO Brace
The good news about foot drop is the fact that it usually isn’t a permanent condition. However, you should be aware that foot drop can become a lifelong problem if it isn’t properly addressed. The most common means of correction is a good AFO brace for foot drop.
This is a special kind of foot/ankle brace that is meant to hold your foot in a normal position. This keeps it from constantly trying to drop down and point to the floor. If nothing else, a brace like this makes it far easier to walk until your condition improves.
3. Uncrossing Your Legs Can Actually Make A Difference
You should take another look at the study we linked in section one. If you didn’t notice it before, look for the part where it talks about “habitual leg crossing.” This little piece of information bears further discussion.
It seems that those who usually sit with their legs crossed are more likely to develop a foot drop. The source study goes on to say that those who stop crossing their legs tend to show improvement after doing so. So, if you are having problems with foot drop and you have always had a habit of crossing your legs, those two facts may be connected.
4. More Serious Treatments May Be Necessary
Although many cases of foot drop can be improved with an AFO brace and a change in habits, some cases are much more severe. In order to keep the problem from becoming a lifelong one, doctors can use several types of procedures to repair the nerve damage that typically causes foot drop.
Sometimes, they can just use a light electrical pulse to stimulate the nerve and get it working again. In some other cases, surgery might be required. Either way, you should be aware that this problem might be corrected in a number of ways depending on its severity.
5. Trip Hazards Must Be Removed
While you are recovering from a foot drop, you need to be aware of another danger: Tripping and falling. When the front part of your foot is hanging low like that, it can easily be snagged on various objects, causing you to fall.
Under normal circumstances, a person could just step carefully to avoid those little snags, but a person suffering from foot drop isn’t going to have an easy time with that. And so, it’s a good idea to remove as many tripping hazards from your home as possible.
This would include throw rugs, dangling electrical cords, dog toys all over the floor, etc. You also need to make sure that all walking areas are well-lit so that you can see hazards in time and avoid them.
Foot drop is never a fun experience, whether it’s you or someone close to you suffering the effects. However, you can console yourself with the knowledge that this condition will most likely go away with time, and proactive measures can help it to subside much more quickly. Whatever the extent of your injury, knowledge of the condition can help you to deal with it more effectively.