My 'Foot Drop' - What is it and how can I overcome it ?

It has been a very long time since I wrote something on my blog. Life has been quite difficult these past few months with Anya's medical condition but that I leave for another blog post. Right now we are taking about Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and my journey of having this condition for nearly 18 years - I have been experiencing something that is known as a 'Foot Drop'.  

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Now you must be thinking what the hell am I actually talking about ???? 

Yes that is right - there is actually something called a 'Foot Drop' 

So what is a Foot Drop ? 

This is what I actually got when searching on the internet - Foot drop is a gait abnormality in which the dropping of the forefoot happens due to weakness, irritation or damage to the common fibular nerve including the sciatic nerve, or paralysis of the muscles in the anterior portion of the lower leg. It is usually a symptom of a greater problem, not a disease in itself (Source: Wikipedia).

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Yes that is true - I am dragging my feet after a minute or so of walking. Its difficult to maintain that gait and time comes when I actually need to rest. 

What is the underlying problems of 'Foot Drop' ? 

It can be a long process to cure but it is very important to find out the underlying problems that has led to this drop. In my case it is my Multiple Sclerosis (MS) but for others it could be problems with peripheral nerve damage or neuropathy. In this most often its the squashing of the nerve that control the muscles that lift the leg. Most of the time even trapped nerves around the knee and lower spine could lead to a foot drop. Nerve damage linked to people having diabetes could also be a link to foot drop. Another underlying area is muscle weakness which is linked to muscular dystrophy and muscle wasting. When we speak about MS it is connected with causes on the brain and the spinal cord. Along with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) people with stroke and cerebral palsy are linked with the brain and spinal cord disorder.

How to get tested ? 

The best option is to first get yourself diagnosed and that is what I will be doing - I have my neuro  physiotherapist appointment coming soon and that will help me immensely just knowing what my  problems are and a strict exercise regime to improve and strengthen my foot. Maybe there would be the use of imaging tests like x-rays, ultrasound scans or CT scans. We just have to see what is in store. 

Best precautions to take with a ''Foot Drop''   

That is right - the most important tip here is to be careful as foot drop can lead to people having lots of falls. The falls happen when you find it difficult to lift up your front part of your foot and it starts to drag which leads to the body being unstable and you have a fall. This is the exact image to what is happening to me right now. 

There are measures in place to take and prevent a foot drop.  The need to start making small changes at home and your work place so that accidents do not happen. Its always easy to say then actions taken  ...... Changes have to be made - FULL STOP !!

Also other steps that people can take are :

  • Neurophysiotherapist:  Works on strengthening your weak muscles and gets the coordination back. Its a commitment and to get best results you have to follow their structured plan their recommended exercises. 
  • Electric Nerve Stimulation or ENS:  This step works with some patient but surely to get professional advice (your GP or Neurologist) on this and if it is needed in your case. 
  • Surgery:  This option is there in severe case but the best way to go about it to get professional advice on if you really need it. Your GP would be the best person to give that advice and recommend the best way forward. 
  • Ankle or Foot Brace:  This is a ankle-foot brace or splint that is worn on your lower part of your feet and gives support to the ankle and foot. This support straightens the foot and improves on the walk of the person. 

These are all steps that I would be looking into to try and get over my 'Foot Drop'. I know it is not the end of the world and I can still carry on living a normal life but something tells me that if I can strengthen my legs and my foot drop - a future MS episode did come my way, my legs would be strong enough to fight it and I still will have the ability to walk. Just have to be positive and take each step as it comes !!

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What is your take on 'Foot Drop' and have you experienced it personally or know someone that undergoes this medical condition ? 

Have your say on the comments box .....

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