Barbara: …getting foot drop lately, what sort of treatment do you think I should have to help me with that?
Jenny Thain, Physiotherapist: Okay, so there’s lots of different options. First thing we would need to do is to assess you to find out what might be causing your foot drop, because it can be caused for different reasons, it might be weakness, it might be some sensory problems, it might be stiffness in your muscles. So you would need to have a physiotherapy assessment to get a little bit more detail on that. We’d then probably start off with some exercises if you weren’t already doing any, and again, depending on what symptoms we found, we’d advise an exercise programme. We might try that for a little period of time, see if that helps to resolve the problem.
Other things that we might look at then if it persists for longer is sometimes people find using a mobility aid over longer distances can help with that type of problem, using splints for example, little ankle supports can help. One of the other things that can be offered in some centres is functional electrical stimulation, which can – with electrical impulses – can help to improve the drop for people walking in certain patients, it doesn’t work for everybody.
Barbara: So where does that go to when you have this FES, does it go on your leg?
Jenny Thain: Yeah, it’s a small device that you wear a pad on your skin and a small box about the size of a pack of cards that gives electrical impulses and it’s timed with your walking so it can help you with that foot drop problem. But it doesn’t work for everybody and it does need a specific assessment for that to be worked out whether it works for you or not.
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