5 simple exercises to help foot drop

Foot drop can happen with a range of conditions, most typically when there is irrtation or damage to the common fibula nerve including the sciatic nerve.

In itself it is a symptom so it's important you see a physio to get to the cause of it.  While addressing the underlying cause it is important to address the footdrop itself.  Below are a few simple exercises that might help.

Foot drop can be a difficult condition to live with because it makes it hard to walk.  It is also an issue that can lead to trips as the toes can get caught on small cracks or edges on the walking surface.  The last thing you need is a fall!

One of the consequences of a foot drop is tightening of the muscle groups at the back of the calf.

The first two exercises focus on stretching the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.  Below Matt (head physio at Clemton Park) demonstrates these).

Gastrocnemius stretch

Soleus stretch

Once you have started work on flexibility of what is tight you then need to strengthen the muscles that raise the foot back up.

​The first exercise to try is a simple foot lift.  Below, our Senior physio at Activ Therapy Casula Lawrence shows how to do this exercise.

Ankle dorsiflexion exercise

The next exercise is resisted peroneal strengthening.  Lawrence again shows how to perform this exercise.

Peroneal strengthening

The last in this series is the tibialise posterior exercise.  Along with the peroneals they function to lift up the foot.  Lawrence shows how to perform this in the video below.

Tibialise posterior strengthening

Give the exercises a try.  If you have any issues get in touch with one of our physios with your questions.

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