Thursday September 21 2017 11:00 AM
This week Joan Jordan talks about foot-drop and the implications it has for her daily life. Talk about issues with your doctor, seek referrals or book an appointment if this is something that is affecting you.
Like many of my M.S symptoms, foot-drop crept up on me over time. The best way I can describe it is that the process of lifting my foot sufficient height to walk effortlessly doesn’t happen. My foot catches on low obstacles (like carpet pile) and I need to make a conscious action to lift my weak foot when walking. Stairs are the hardest because I need to raise my foot the correct distance so I don’t miss and trip. Things get worse as the day goes on and flat, light shoes help.
I have tried a device under the supervision of my physiotherapist and the electric signal really did make my foot move appropriately (albeit involuntarily!). I think I would get used to the sensation over time but for now- I am minimising the amount of walking I do and practising the exercises I have learned in yoga class to keep my foot mobile.
I’m not a physio- so my best advice if you are experiencing foot-drop is to contact one and make an appointment. I would recommend you ask around people in your area with similar symptoms to see who they favour. Do tell your neurologist when you visit them to get their advice too.
I occasionally get called out by people who don’t know I have Multiple Sclerosis for being lazy. Explaining my illness to them generally works. I don’t go into too much detail- I just tell them that I find walking long distances difficult because my right foot drops when I attempt to lift it. Generally people understand and are aware of my situation in the future.
When walking is required- I always ask in advance if the “5-minute stroll” really is an accurate estimation. I know how far I can walk and trying to keep up with a gang of energetic power-walkers when I am past my limit is not good. I always calculate my route when travelling to avoid unnecessary steps and am realistic with friends when we plan events involving much walking.
It’s tough sometimes when my kids want me to join in with activities requiring a lot of footsteps. We usually find a compromise and it doesn’t get to me so much anymore.
Do you experience foot drop and how do you manage it?
Looking forward to hearing from you!