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National Foot Drop Awareness Day: Share your story and get involved

September 22nd marks the National Foot Drop Awareness Day

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The National Foot Drop Awareness Day aims to educate the public about the condition and eradicate unmanaged cases. Here’s everything you need to know.

Foot drop or drop foot is the inability to lift the foot and toes properly when walking.

It can lead to trips and falls, and a loss of confidence when walking and it occurs when the muscles are not strong enough to lift the foot, or if the foot lift is hampered by tight or overactive calf muscles.

Foot drop is a sign of an underlying problem rather than a condition itself. Most commonly, it is seen individuals following a stroke or head injury, or who are suffering from a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

It can also be caused by local nerve damage in the lower leg, or occur as a complication of diabetes.

There are a number of treatments options available from simple exercises that can be performed at home to medical devices such as functional electrical stimulators (FES) that are provided by physiotherapists and orthotists.

Foot drop can be managed successfully using ankle supports and splints, some of which can be bought from mobility equipment suppliers while others are required to be custom-made and fitted by orthotists.

The National Foot Drop Society (NFDS) was founded in 2018 with the aim of “eliminating unmanaged foot drop” through education to medical professionals and the general public.

A key strategy has been the running of annual National Foot Drop Awareness Days during which clinicians and individuals with experience of foot drop share their experiences and videos of them walking via social media networks.

This year, it is hoped that some private and NHS facilities will hold live education events to spread the message that walking problems arising from foot drop can treated or managed.

We are hoping that you might be interested in participating in the fourth National Foot Drop Awareness Day on Thursday, September 22.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Neighbour at nationalfootdropsociety@gmail.com or visit nationalfootdropsociety.com.

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