Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Drop Foot – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Drop foot is a medical condition wherein the person has difficulty lifting the front of his/her foot. A person suffering from this condition will drag the front of the foot while walking. It could be a neurological, muscular or anatomical problem.

Drop Foot – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms of Drop Foot

•   Front part of the foot drags on the floor
•   Steppage gait 
•   Slapping sound when the foot hits the ground
•   Numbness in foot and toes

Causes

Some reasons for this condition include:

•   Nerve Injury- If one of the nerves that controls the muscles used when walking is compressed, it can cause drop foot.

•   Muscle Disorder – Muscle dystrophy can cause progressive muscle weakness which can cause this condition.

•   Nerve Disorders – Drop foot can be caused by diseases like polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

•   Brain/Spinal Cord Disorders – Disorders like ALS, multiple sclerosis or stroke can cause weakening of leg muscles and thereby cause drop foot.

Diagnosis

To diagnose drop foot, the podiatrist will first do a physical examination by pressing on various parts of the leg and feet for reaction and numbness. You may also be asked to walk up and down to check for muscle weakness and gait. Further, imaging tests may be done which could include x-rays, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI. Nerve tests like electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies help determine the location of the damage along the affected nerve.

Treatment

The treatment will depend on the severity and the cause of the condition.

 Treatment for drop foot might include:

•  Orthotics Like Braces or Splints – This will help support your foot and hold it down in an optimal position.

•  Physical Therapy - Exercises will be given to strengthen leg muscles and increase range of motion of the knee as well as to correct gait. It will also make your foot more flexible.

•  Nerve Stimulation – The nerve that has been affected will be stimulated to try and reduce the severity of the drop foot. 

•  Surgery- If there is severe pain or if the drop foot is affecting a person’s quality of life, surgery may be an option. 

In most cases, working with a podiatrist and undergoing a combination of treatments that may include orthotics and physical therapy can help in treating drop foot. 

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Orthotic Shoes Can Help with Feet Pain

What Is Orthotics?

Our foot is made up of 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.All of these work together to support our weight and make movement possible. A disruption in any of these could cause foot pain. Podiatrists help treat foot conditions with the help of orthotics. They are prescription medical devices that are used by podiatrists to treat and correct biomechanical foot issues.

Orthotic Shoes Can Help with Feet Pain

Common Reasons for Foot Pain

• Pain in the heel can be caused by:-

Heel spurs – These are abnormal growths of bone that occur on the heel. Your podiatrist may suggest foot inserts, gel heels or heel pain relief cushions.

• Pain in the ball of the foot can be caused by:-

Metatarsalgia – This causes inflammation and can occur when there is high impact on the ball of the foot while running or jumping. Individualized orthotics that provide cushioning and support may help.

• Pain in the arch of the foot can be caused by:-

Plantar fasciitis - Inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to your toes could cause pain and stiffness. Custom orthotics, supports and insoles are often prescribed by podiatrists to treat this condition.

• Pain in the big toe can be caused by:-

Gout – This is a form of arthritis that affects the big toe. It can cause pain, inflammation and tenderness at the base of the toe. Soft, supportive gel orthotics can help cushion the area and relieve pain.

Why Consult a Podiatrist for Foot Pain?

The podiatrist is the best person to go to for a foot problem because they will carry out biometric assessment to check your standing posture, your muscular and skeletal alignments and they will assess how your gait may be impacting other parts of your body, such as your hips.

Based on their findings they will decide what kind of treatment will work for you and they will conduct a complete rehabilitation program to ensure that your condition is treated and reversed.