Orthotic Leg Braces: How AFO’s Can Help Improve the Way Your Walk
Are you wondering if an AFO can help you walk better? – We believe they can. We will show you why in this article, but we also think it is a good idea for you to watch some testimonials that we have. We like to let these people do the talking….
*If you want to learn more about the benefits of an AFO (ankle foot orthosis) then watch the videos on this page : https://rinella-op.com/foot-drop-brace-afo-kafo/
The Reasons Why People Need an Ankle Foot Orthosis
Difficulty walking can be demoralizing. Perhaps you recognize that there is a problem with your gait, but you are unsure of what to do. Your first thought might be to go see your doctor, but deep down you keep your fingers crossed that you won’t need surgery. The issue is more often than not a diagnosis of “foot drop”. While you might be frightened at such an odious name do not fear, as the number of people with foot drop will surprise you. Foot drop, that slight change in your gait, can be a secondary symptom brought about my ALS, CP, trauma, a stroke, multiple sclerosis, fatigue, a brain tumor, etc… this list can go on for days, and that in mind it is easy to see why foot drop is a problem experienced by many.
When you experience foot drop you will likely face common walking issues such as:
1. High Steppage Gait
This issue takes place when the patient lifts their knee high enough for their foot to move behind them, toward the location in front of their body, while they are walking. It is commonly referred to as “clearing the limb”. The need for a person to move their legs while they walk is obvious but if the person has foot drop, then this high steppage gait is often used to move a foot that does not work one hundred percent of the time.
2. Circumduction of the Leg
This issue takes place when a person has trouble getting their limb to move through the gait cycle, and as a result they use a gait deviation referred to as a circumduction. When this takes place, the person will move their leg in a half circle behind their body in order to place it in front of their body. In many cases of this, people do not think about their foot moving in a straight line, or lifting their foot high enough to clear the limb. But when there is weakness in the foot, circumduction is often a secondary option.
If this is you there is hope. An AFO is an ankle foot orthosis. It is also referred to by some as an orthotic leg brace. It can be fitted to your ankle and foot so that it supplies the perfect amount of support while you walk helping to get you back on your feet… literally and figuratively.
The Benefits of an Ankle Foot Orthosis
One of the main things that an AFO does, is that it will keep your foot up when you walk. This means you do not have to think about the high steppage gait, or the circumduction of the limb. You will probably have to unlearn these compensatory gait mechanisms because the AFO will take care of the “drop foot”. They can help you walk with more speed, less energy and increased balance in the sagittal and coronal planes. It can also help to support your knee indirectly, if you struggle with weakness there as well. In sum, an ankle foot orthosis can help you walk and for many people it can help you walk without a cane.
(Here again are the videos on AFOs, if you want to watch how other people have benefited : https://rinella-op.com/foot-drop-brace-afo-kafo/)