Are you looking back on the days when you used to be able to walk with envy?
Do you wish you could walk the way you used to?
When you have trouble walking it can be demoralizing. Maybe you already know that your gait has become a problem for you and you are not quite sure what to do about it. Your first thoughts might be, “I have to see a doctor”, while still hoping that you do not have to go in for a surgical procedure to get the problem corrected. – When you consider how many people have foot drop you may be shocked. Just think about it for a second, foot drop can be caused by a stroke, multiple sclerosis, CP, trauma, ALS, a brain tumor, fatigue, and the list goes on. This can add up quickly and you now can see why foot drop is more than just your problem, it is everywhere. – If walking is a problem for you then this free information can help you.
2.) Common Gait Problems
Do you, a friend, or family member have these kinds of gait problems?
A.) High Steppage Gait: This is when the patient lifts their knee high enough to move their foot from behind them, to a location in front of themselves, while walking. This is called “clearing the limb”. The need to move the legs while walking is obvious and if a person has a foot drop then a high steppage gait is commonly utilized to help move a foot that is not working at 100 %.
B.) Circumduction of The Leg: When an individual has a weakness or problem getting their limb through the gait cycle, they may use a gait deviation called, “circumduction”. When this occurs, the individuals will tend to move their leg in a half circle from behind them to a place in front of their body. Usually, people do not think about moving in a straight line and lifting their feet up as needed, to clear their limb. However, when you have weakness or other issues while walking, then circumduction can commonly be seen.
C.) Gait Deviations Can Be A Temporary Necessity
It basically becomes a necessity for many people with foot drop because they have to get from point A to point B and if they are going to do this then they will need to incorporate some kind of gait deviation. Nobody wants to walk like this, but when it comes down to it, these deviations can be what people utilize to walk around.
3.) Common Solutions To Walking Problems
A.) An AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis): This brace is usually plastic and helps to support the foot and ankle. Typically, the plastic that is used for these braces is called Polypro, or Copoly. These are plastics that are considered to be thermoplastic. What this means is that they can be heated up and applied to a custom mold of your foot and ankle. In this way, this plastic can take the shape of your foot and ankle and you are much more likely to get the best fit possible, than if you just use a prefabricated brace. AFos can also be made from metal and leather as well. These kinds of braces are usually referred to as leg braces, orthotic leg braces, or orthopedic leg braces. The results are the same. These supports can help people walk better and it is best to work with an orthotist in your area to help you get the proper one for your needs. Orthotists are brace specialists that provide these kinds of supports whenever they are needed.
B.) The WalkAide
This is a newly FDA approved device helps people with a condition called foot drop. It uses what is called “functional electric stimulation” to help use your muscles that have been involved in the foot drop problem you currently have. No, this system is not for everyone, but it can be used for many indivudals with foot drop. When an individual has foot drop and they due to certain conditions like MS (multiple sclerosis), a stroke or brain tumor for example, this device can be very helpful. Incomplete spinal cord injury patients can also benefit from the use of this device.
*Note: This is health information. Although it is helpful, it is best to get medical advice on walking braces from your local, licensed orthotist.