Understanding Drop Foot

Have you ever experienced discomfort or pain in your foot when you’re trying to walk normally? Have you ever had to lift your legs a little higher than usual just so you could take a single step, or shuffle your feet to the side? If so, then you might want to investigate this pain further to see if you’re dealing with early signs of Foot Drop.


As implied by the name, Foot Drop, also known as Drop Foot, is a condition wherein you are unable to lift the front of one or both feet.                        
While a number of people seem to believe that this is a standalone disorder, Foot Drop is more often a critical symptom of an underlying neurological and/or muscle disorder, with the former being the most common cause.                       

 In this blog, we’ll be diving into the different causes of Foot Drop.                                                        


Neuropathy is a range of neurological disorders caused by damage to or within the nervous system. The nervous system is the broad network of nerves that oversees the body’s overall function and self-maintenance. These nerves relay information between the brain and the body, allowing us to perceive sensations and control voluntary movement. In cases of Foot Drop, the cause of neuropathy can be traced back to injury or compression within the lower extremity nerves, most commonly in the peroneal nerve.                        

The peroneal nerve runs from the rear end of the knee to the front of the shin. It ferries signals between the spine and brain and the calves, feet, and toes. It allows us to move our lower leg muscles, including the front part of the foot.                        

When this nerve is entrapped or compressed, it can cause tingling, numbness, or even pain. Motor control of the feet and legs also suffers, making it difficult to walk or stabilize ourselves while standing.                                                        

Nerve compressions are usually caused by overuse injuries from sports or even everyday activities, as well as underlying health conditions. As such, common risk factors for Foot Drop include:        

  • Excessive crossing of legs 

  • Excessive kneeling 

  • Slipped disc 

  • Wearing plaster casts for a prolonged time 

  • Diabetes                       

  • Hip or knee replacement surgery                

It can also be caused by conditions that directly affect the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord. These include:              

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) 

  • Stroke                                  


 Beyond nerve disorders, Foot Drop can also be caused by direct damage to the lower extremity muscles. The most common musculoskeletal disorders associated with it include: 

  • Polio 

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) 

  • Muscular dystrophy        


The severity of Foot Drop conditions can vary depending on the symptoms present. Health providers usually conduct a physical examination first, to better assess the function and mobility of the foot and the extent of the damage.                        

After determining whether further evaluations are needed, health providers usually conduct these additional tests:    

  •  X-rays    

  • Ultrasounds 

  • MRI and CT Scans 

  • Blood tests 

  • Nerve conduction tests 

  • Electromyography                                                        

For treating Foot Drop, health providers usually prescribe three types of procedures: orthotics, electrical stimulations, and, in severe cases, surgery.                      

However, there are now treatment options outside of traditional medicine. Here at Beyer Functional Wellness, Dr. Beyer provides a comprehensive regenerative treatment program that helps patients achieve long-term recovery from their neuropathic and chronic disorders using the body’s powerful, natural biological processes.                       

 If you or a loved one is experiencing any neuropathic symptoms, schedule your consultation with us today and we’ll determine which regenerative treatment best suits your needs! 

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