Vancouver chiropractor Dr. Troy Dreiling explains how foot drop can be cared for using chiropractic adjustments. You may schedule a free consultation with Dr. Troy by phoning the clinic.
Dr. Troy here, the Vancouver chiropractor.
A lot of people will suffer from foot drop. This is what happens when they go to walk and they actually have to lift their foot up because there is no strength in the front of their leg. We will see that or their foot on the ground when they walk. This is known as foot drop or it could be leg weakness.
When you look at neurology, what controls the foot, what controls the leg? We go to the central nerve system. Grey’s Anatomy says the brain is the master, it runs everything. There needs to be a direct communication down the spinal cord, out of the vertebra, to the leg. This nerve, the sciatic nerve, I call this nerve the banana nerve because when it gets irritated it drives you bananas.
How does the sciatic nerve get irritated? Number one, we know if the vertebra in the spine, especially the lower back, gets out of alignment they will impinge the nerves and irritate the nerves. That can cause weakness and can cause foot drop.
Trauma can bring this about. If the pelvic bones get out of alignment that can irritate the nerves as well. Sometimes the piriformis, the gluteal muscles can become impinged and tighten and irritate the nerves that control the lower leg. So, this is what we look for. We want to find what is causing that foot not to drop properly.
I have had people who have had MRIs, who’ve come in and their doctor said, hey we need surgery. We have cleared those things up with specific chiropractic care. Sometimes we may need to use a molding block, pretty intensely; two to three times a day we will lay their spine over this and that helps open up the neural canal that contributes functionally to the leg.
The only way to determine if chiropractic can help you is to come in. We always say that chiropractic care is a contact sport. You gotta call us, make contact, come in and we will check you to see if chiropractic is right for you.
Free consultation, call the office (360) 260-6903 and we will see if chiropractic is right for you!
More Information On Foot Drop
Foot drop is a gait abnormality that causes the forward foot to drop while a person is walking. The person might lack the strength or energy to walk normally, or there could be a great deal of pain that occurs, forcing the foot to drop. Foot drop is not considered to be a disorder itself, but rather is normally a sign of some other deeper problem.
Symptoms of foot drop include the patient’s inability or impaired ability to raise up their toes or to raise the foot from the ankle. This is a condition known as dorsiflexion. Those suffering from foot drop may find it to be a temporary occurrence, or it could be chronic. When walking, the patient’s raised leg will be slightly bent at the knee in order to stop the foot from dragging on the ground.
Causes of Foot Drop
We have found that foot drop is often caused due to weakness, irritation, or damage of the common fibular and/or the sciatic nerve. Another factor can be paralysis of the muscles in the lower leg. This serious condition can arise because of nerve damage, muscle damage, spinal cord trauma, a congenital defect in anatomy, toxins, or disease.
Some of the diseases that have been known to cause foot drop include strokes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, poliomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spastic paraplegia, Guillain–Barré syndrome, and Friedreich’s ataxia. We have also seen patient’s that develop foot drop after a hip replacement or knee ligament reconstruction surgery.
Foot Drop Analysis and Treatment
The initial diagnosis can be made during a routine exam and won’t require an expert. A simple test involves asking a patient to flex their foot at the ankle in order to observe the amount of mobility. The more difficult problem is determining the underlying cause of the foot drop. As an example, the herniation of a spinal disc in the lower back, which can pinch or obstruct the nerves connecting the spine to the leg, can be the root cause of the disorder. It will be necessary to treat the disc herniation in order to improve the nerve condition.
If the cause is determined to be a peripheral nerve injury, then it is advisable to seek non-invasive treatments for a period of up to two years before determining if surgery would be necessary. In many cases, rest and suitable exercise will be enough to remedy the problem, along with anti-inflammatory medicine. In more severe cases, it is advised that you seek out a chiropractic specialist.
Foot Drop and Chiropractic Care
An experienced chiropractor has a number of options when treating foot drop and the underlying causes. Treatments include chiropractic adjustments, manipulations of the lower leg, electrical muscle stimulation, and spinal decompression. The exact treatment that is right for you will vary depending on the nature and severity of your condition
If you are suffering from foot drop, learn about the full range of treatment options available to you by scheduling a FREE consultation today. At Zenaptic, we are committed to promoting the health and well being of each one of our patients. Call now to start down the path towards a more active and pain-free life!