What is foot drop?
Drop foot is a condition where the foot does not lift up during walking. Often times this results in falls or a significant change in someone’s normal walking pattern.
What Causes Foot Drop?
Lower Nerve Injury
Peripheral nerve damage can occur when pressure is applied to the nerves that communicate with the muscles in the lower leg. This can occur when there is pressure on the upper portion, common in back injuries or the lower portion of the nerve
Swelling after muscle injury can result in compartment syndrome, where nerve and blood to the muscle is disrupted.
Foot Drop Exercises
Ankle Passive Range of Motion
Caregiver Instructions: Cup the heel in your hand. Use your forearm to press the foot toward the leg until you feel some resistance. Use your free hand to stabilize the leg as shown in the picture
Once you are able to stand safety, add these ankle stretches
Instructions: Place the foot you want to stretch in the back and your other foot forward. Press your hips toward the wall. Make sure your heel stays on the ground and your back knee stays straight
Ankle Stretch with Bent Knee
Instructions: Place the ankle you want to stretch in the back and your other foot forward. Press your hips forward. Keep your heel on the ground and maintain a slight bend your knee that is in the back
Instructions: Start seated with your knee bent. Try to lift the foot. Think about leading the lifting motion with our pinky toe. Try to avoid leading with the arch of the foot or the big toe.
Once this becomes easy, try this exercise with the knee straight