The Best Of Foot Drop Exercises

Before we begin on the foot drop exercises, it is important to understand what foot drop is to begin with. If you are a regular runner, probably you have come across this complication, and maybe you did not know what it was.

Foot drop, in simple terms is the term that refers to the failing of the muscles that consent to flexing of the ankle and the toes, or basically failing of the lower leg muscle. It makes it really hard to lift the front part of your foot and can lead you to dragging your foot on the ground when you are walking.


This is where foot drop exercises come in. Foot drop exercises are a form of therapy that is meant to strengthen the feet, your ankles and the lower leg muscles. These exercises are greatly recommended for those experiencing these complications.

What causes foot drop, or as others call it drop foot? Whenever you have foot drop, it simply indicates you have an underlying problem with your foot. It is not a disease parse.

Lately I have been doing plenty of cardio and exercises related to the foot work. I realized when you have not worked out for a long time, then you start intensive exercises which involve your muscles, especially the feet muscles, you tend to get muscles pulls and muscle cramps.

Foot drop may be caused by, but not limited to nerve injury, brain or spinal disorder and muscle disorders. The most common cause of foot drop however is the nerve injury. There are some nerves that sit very close to the surface of your foot hence they may be injured easily.

This can happen if you are very active in sports, especially running. This is coupled with pain or numbness in the affected region. Muscle disorders are conditions that cause your muscles to weaken significantly as time goes by.

Let us look at the most important part of this article now that we know what foot drop is and some of its symptoms. What form of exercises can be done to treat foot drop? It is important to work with a professional for purposes of safety and to avoid any further injuries, but these simple exercises can also be done alone.

Foot drop exercises may either be passive or active. Passive exercises are ones where you assist the affected limb while active exercises are ones which you do not assist yourself. You can start with the passive exercises then slowly progress to the active ones with time.

Some of the rehabilitation foot drop exercises include;

Stay on your feet

Do not let foot drop deter you from your normal walking. Try to stay on your feet to keep your feet busy and get them working, however do not overdo it.

Especially when you get injured in your foot such as: Ball of foot Pain, Plantar Fasciitis… , you should be careful while performing this, decrease the intensity if you feel hurt .

Towel stretches.(Passive)

Position yourself on a flat surface with both legs stretched out in front of you. Using a towel or a band, loop it around the affected foot and hold the outstretched sides with your hands. Pull the band or towel towards your body for 30 seconds then relax for 30 seconds. Do this repeatedly about 3-5 times.

This exercise is really good for health, especially when you are having some foot pain like: Metatarsalgia, Achilles Tendonistis, Shin Splints…. It will help you much with those kinds of injury.

Flexing of the ankle (passive)

For this exercise, you need a resistance band and a stable chair or table leg. This is geared towards flexing your ankle muscles to strengthen them a bit. You have to anchor the resistance band on the stable chair or table leg then wrap the hanging side on the affected part and slowly pull in and out about 10 times.

Light weight braces

This type of braces may be recommended by a specialist to support your muscles. They are the most common type of foot drop exercise or support.

Ankle rotation (active)

For this form of foot drop exercise, you need to sit up straight with your back supported on the chair, then gently raise your foot in the air then slowly turn your foot inward and hold for about ten seconds then turn it outward and hold again for the same amount of time. Repeat this about 10 times.

If you are having some foot pain like : Achilles Tendonistis, Peroneal Tendonitis, Shin Splints… , do it gently and feel the movements in each position when performing this exercise.

Assisted toe raises. (Passive)

This movement usually proves to be very difficult, so if you find a hard time doing it that is okay. Place your unaffected foot and the affected foot to assist in raising your affected foot while keeping the heel of the unaffected foot on the ground. Release back down and repeat this exercise about 10 times.

Heel raise (active)

This one should be a bit easier. Start with your feet flat on the ground then slowly raise on your toes then back down. Do this ten times.

This exercise have strong impact on Achilles, Metatarsalgia, Plantar Fasciitis, Ball of Foot Pain, and it also affects …..if you are having Peroneal Tendonis, Shin Splints. Just try it and you will feel it.

Ankle eversion (active)

Place your affected foot directly on the ground then raise the outside frame of your foot and toes up then loosen up back down. Just concentrate on your foot and ankle for this exercise and avoid moving the entire leg. Repeat this ten times.

In conclusion

If the exercises are not working, you should consider visiting a specialist for physical therapy. I hope this article has been of importance to you on dealing with foot drop. There are many more foot drop exercises that you can do. In case of any questions or additions feel free to give your feedback.


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Ignacio Bitters - March 21, 2018

Thank you so much for the great article, it was fluent and to the point. Cheers.


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