Do you suffer from foot drop?
You may know that you drag your toes when you walk, from time to time, or maybe it seems like it is happening all the time! – We understand where you are coming from and want to help. This is free information.
1.) The Term Foot Drop & Its Double Meaning
The term “foot drop” is a recognized medical phrase that can mean different things. For example, if your toes drag when you walk then your medical professional will see this and call it foot drop. However, the severity of the problem can range from being a slight “foot drop” where your muscles are struggling to lift your foot up to something quite different. The term foot drop can also be used to describe a foot that is pointed downward. The difference this time is that the foot drop is actually in a contracted plantarflexed position. – What does this mean? – When the foot is pointed downward in a contracted plantarflexed position, this means that your muscles are actively pushing the toes down farther past the relative height of your heel. In this plantarflexed state (toes pointing downward) it appears that your muscles are actually quite active, not weak.
Medical professionals may say that a person has a “flexible” or “ridged” foot drop depending on how much range of motion you have at your ankle joint, when they try to bring your foot into a neutral position.
2.) Braces For Foot Drop – Ankle Foot Orthosis
One of the best things a person can do for themselves, when they have a foot drop is to see an orthotist. An orthotist, who is a licensed brace provider, can help your gait return to a more fluid progression. There are actually electrical stimulator now out that can trigger your muscle to fire but they are very expensive and your insurance might not cover it, based on your diagnosis.
An orthotist can provide you with an off the shelf or custom ankle foot orthosis which can help you walk better. The term orthosis here refers to a brace for your ankle and foot. This can fit into a shoe and what it does is help to hold your foot up when you walk. This way you are not going to drag your toe when you swing your leg through or slap your foot down when you start to move over the foot in your gait cycle. – These braces can also be constructed so that they help to give your ankle side to side support while also helping to give your knee support indirectly, so it does not snap back (hyperextend) or buckle forward.
There are different kinds of ankle foot orthoses (braces). For the most part, these braces are made from a thermoplastic and others are made from metal and leather, which attach to your shoe with an internal stirrup. – Your orthotist will be able to help you get the best brace for your needs based on the presentation of your weakness and diagnosis.
3.) Why Its Important to Work With A Brace Professional
As you know, with experience you can develop an eye for detail. Orthotists are strictly devoted to the medical profession of bracing and they have probably provided more of these braces than you probably currently realize. A licensed orthotist also needs to get their credentials by passing exams based on the topic of orthotics. These exams are not easy either. Moreover, a licensed orthotist needs to protect their credentials with continuing education after their exams have been passed. – All this means is that you will benefit most if you get a brace from them.
Lastly, if you work with an orthotist in your area, they can help facilitate a health insurance claim on your behalf for the orthosis (brace). Many times people can have 100 percent of the brace covered by their insurance, but this is all dictated by the terms of your policy. Your orthotist will be able to assist you with determining your health insurance benefits at your visit.
In conclusion, if you have foot drop, using a brace for support can make all the difference for you in the way you walk. You will have more energy and be able to walk faster often times, due to the support that they provide.
* Note: This is health information. Speak to your local orthotist about medical advice pertaining to your new brace.