Introduction to Foot Drop

October 19, 2021
Introduction to Foot Drop

Often, foot drop is not considered its own disease; rather, it's a symptom of other diseases. 

If someone is diagnosed with one, they may have a lot of questions. What is it? What are the symptoms? What are the causes? 

In this article, we'll answer common patients' questions about foot drops. You'll have the answers you need to consider your symptoms and choose the right treatment.

To begin, let's start with the definition.

What Is Foot Drop?

Foot drop is when a patient has difficulty lifting the front of their foot. As a result, the foot or the front of the foot may drag when walking. 

A foot drop can be a sign of an underlying medical problem. If you or a loved one suspect you may be experiencing a drop, always consult with a doctor first. Not only can consulting with a physician help with treatment, but they can also help you discover the root of the issue.

How do you know if you have symptoms? Next, let's continue with some of the common signs.


Foot drop has multiple symptoms to look out for. Some common symptoms of may include:

  • Dragging the Foot: The front part of their foot may drag. This is especially true while walking. 

  • Steppage Gait: They may raise their knee to take a step. This looks as if they are climbing stairs. 

  • Numbness: Loss of sensation to the foot is common. They can also lose sensation in their toes. 

  • Tripping/Falls: Due to numbness and loss of sensation, they may trip often. This can result in falls. 

  • Circumduction Gait: They may keep the knee straight and swing it out to the side. This happens when taking a step to avoid trips and falls. 

Now that we know some of the main symptoms, let's explore common causes.

Causes of Foot Drop

There are three common causes associated with this condition. Let's take a look:

1. Nerve Injury

Often, there may be a nerve injury to the perineal nerve that causes the condition. The nerve might become compressed, which affects the muscles that lift the foot. 

A nerve injury is the most common cause of foot drop. 

2. Muscle Disorders

Muscle disorders may cause foot drop. These include Polio, Muscular Dystrophy or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

These conditions may cause the muscles to weaken or deteriorate over time.

3. Brain/Spinal Cord Disorders

Brain or spinal cord disorders may cause a patient to develop the condition. Some examples include ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke or Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

In addition to common causes, let's talk about treatment.


It's important to find the root cause of foot drop to properly treat it. To diagnose the cause, consult a doctor. A doctor will be able to offer the right treatment based on the cause. 

One common treatment option is neuro-rehab therapy

With neuro-rehab therapy, the patient's quality of life will improve. Trained therapists work with them to improve movement, decrease weakness, and improve range of motion. 

Therapy Achievements is an experienced neuro-rehab therapy clinic that can help you or a loved one through a foot drop diagnosis. For more information, check out our brochure that explains foot drop in-depth. It gives tips for treatment and helps with lifestyle modifications.

Find Treatment for Foot Drop Today

With neuro-rehab therapy, affected patients can benefit immensely. 

With movement and functional mobility therapy, the affected patient's quality of life will improve. They will have specialized treatment just for them that meets their needs.

With an experienced clinic, patients will get the treatment and care they need to improve.

Check out the experienced staff and find out more about Therapy Achievements today!