By Michal Sakal, a physical therapist.
Drop foot is the inability to lift the front part of the foot while walking, causing the foot to scuff along the ground and sometimes even get stuck and cause a fall. It usually stems from weakness or paralysis of the muscles that lift the foot. In order to avoid it, some people might lift their knees higher than usual, while others might swing the leg in a wide arc.
There are some measures to take to that can help stabilize the foot and improve walking ability, including consulting a physical therapist (PT) who knows MS and drop foot.
The PT can help by prescribing various exercises to strengthen the muscles that lift the foot, perform electrical nerve stimulation to the muscles lifting the foot, or suggest a brace or other assistive devices to lift the foot while walking.
There are many available options, and the choice or combination of treatments is usually customized to the patients’ needs.
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