If you're limping about and finding it difficult to lift your foot or walk about, then it could be that you're suffering from a foot drop. What exactly is a foot drop?
This foot problem is the inability to lift the front portion of the foot due to the paralysis of the muscles located there. This leads to a lot of pain and discomfort because it causes a person to rub their toes against the ground in order to walk, or to bend their knees so that they can lift their foot. This condition is usually brought on by certain disorders like multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and heart stokes which lead to muscular problems such as these; as well as motor neuron disorders like spinal stenosis, polio and the like.
A foot drop can either affect both legs or just one leg and can be a temporary or a permanent condition. Other than wearing a foot drop brace, there have been several foot drop exercises which are formulated to ease the toe pain and relax the muscles. This is done so that the healing process takes place faster. In the article that follows we shall be looking through some of these exercises so that you are better able to deal with the condition.
Exercises for Foot Drop
There are several foot drop physical therapy exercises that have been formulated to better help you in dealing with this situation. Given below are some of the most effective leg exercises for a foot drop injury.
- Sit comfortably on a chair with your back properly supported.
- Lift both legs up in front of you so that they are parallel to the ground.
- Hold at the sides of the chair for support so that there is no straining in the thighs.
- Curl your toes in so that they are pointing towards the stomach.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds and release.
- Repeat 15 times.
- Take a break of half a minute and repeat 3 sets of the same.
- Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front of you.
- Lift your legs slightly off the ground and flex your toes so that the toes are curled towards the body. Hold the position for 5 counts.
- Now flex the leg in the opposite direction so that the toes are curled away from the body. Hold this position for 5 counts.
- Do this for both legs (if both legs are affected).
- Repeat 10 times on both sides.
- Sit on a chair and grab the sides for support.
- Place a tennis ball on the ground.
- Now with your toes (bare feet) try and lift the ball off the ground and bring it to the level of the knees or as high up as you can manage.
- Do this for both legs.
- Repeat 10 times. Then take a break and repeat 3 sets of the same.
- Sit on the floor and extend your legs out.
- Now place a rubber band and wrap it around the toes (make sure it doesn't snap).
- Now stretch the fingers as far as you can on the band.
- Hold for 5 seconds and relax.
- Repeat on the injured leg(s) a total 10-15 times.
- Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, take a towel and loop it over your foot.
- Now pull the towel holding both ends, so that you stretch out the toes and foot towards the body.
- Hold for 6 seconds and release.
- Do 6-8 times.
- One of the most effective exercises is the simple cycling exercise.
- Use a stationary bike, a real cycle or even lying on the floor and repeating the cycling motion is just as effective.
- This exercise strengthens the entire foot and helps in restoring dexterity of the same.
- Stand straight and place a chair in front of you for support.
- Hold on to the back of the chair with both your hands and slowly raise your heels off the ground and support yourself on your toes.
- You'll feel a stretch in your calves.
- Hold for 5 counts and release.
- Count till 3 and repeat 5 times.
- Place a couple of marbles on the floor.
- Sit on a chair of enough height which will allow your legs to comfortably stretch out.
- Slowly try to pick up the marbles one by one with your toes.
- This provides great exercise for the foot and is responsible for bringing back the strength and flexibility of the foot.