Foot drop can be one of the most frustrating orthotic complications to have to deal with, especially for those of us who want to live an active life. Compared to other orthotic problems, foot drop has a very different point of origin, making it a challenge to deal with daily.
Still, custom orthotics can help stabilize the condition and make it more manageable. This article will cover some of what you could need to know about foot drop and how orthotic solutions can help.
What is Foot Drop?
So what is foot drop? As the name suggests, foot drop is a condition where it is difficult to tilt the foot upwards.
When you have this condition, your foot might drag along the ground during your stride, often result in an exaggerated gait.
The above condition may be temporary or permanent. The loss of control can vary, from the muscles simply feeling weak to a total lack of control.
Symptoms and Consequences of Foot Drop
The lack of ability to tilt the foot upwards is the most apparent symptom of foot drop. There are a few other symptoms as well that are sure signs of this condition. Difficulty or inability to walk on the heels is one, as is a loss of balance without the support and careful watching of where one is stepping.
Do note that foot drop is itself a secondary symptom in some more severe cases. If your experience foot drop with pain, fever, or nausea, you should immediately consult your doctor. The foot drop could only be part of more serious neurological damage.
What Causes Foot Drop?
Many foot conditions have their origin in joints or bones. Foot drop, however, is a nerve condition caused by issues with the nerves in the spine, leg, or foot.
The source of this damage, and the various foot drop causes associated with them, can vary immensely. Foot drop causes can range from genetic disease to an infectious condition to an injury. In sporadic cases, foot drop can be caused by a brain condition.
Sometimes foot drop is also caused by issues with the muscles in the foot itself. Foot drop causes can range across the nerves and muscles of the lower body, making it difficult to pinpoint the real reason without a doctor’s opinion.
Foot Drop Management and Treatment
There are a few ways to handle foot drop treatment and management. Depending on the cause, foot drop treatments may be pretty straightforward or more involved.
In the mildest cases, nerve stimulation or physical therapy can be enough to help get the nerves and muscles back in working order. Stretching exercises recommended by your doctor can do a lot to help in these cases.
In more severe cases, a brace or splint may be needed to manage the condition to help let the muscles heal while allowing the patient to maintain a normal gait. The type of brace may vary, but most can fit into a shoe.
The most extreme form of foot drop treatment is surgery. The type of surgery needed depends on how long a patient has had the condition. If it’s relatively new, nerve surgery can provide relief.
For more chronic cases, surgery on the bones or muscles of the foot may be needed.
Orthotics’ Role in Treating Foot Drop
Examples of orthotic solutions in foot drop treatment are the braces used to maintain the angle of the foot. These custom orthotics treat the condition and allow for better mobility for those suffering from it.
Other custom orthotics can have roles to play in foot drop treatment. There are a variety of exercises a doctor may recommend to a patient suffering from this condition. All of these exercises are easier to perform if there is better support for the foot and leg.
Most importantly, custom orthotics are vital in avoiding the nerve or muscle damage that causes foot drop in the first place. By making sure that orthotic solutions are used during the recovery and afterward, there is a much better chance of avoiding a return of the condition.
Get Orthotics Support Today
The best-case scenario for foot drop is that you never suffer the nerve damage that causes it in the first place: this is why it’s essential to give your feet and legs the support they need.
Everyone’s body is different, and it’s essential to have custom orthotics for your feet and legs. Browse our shop today to see our wide array of orthotic products.