This article is about AFOs (ankle foot orthoses) and how they can help you walk better. We are also going to cover walking problems in this article as well. For example, part of your walking condition may include a gait deviation called, “foot drop” which we will cover shortly.
1.) Foot Drop
A drop foot can cause someone to drag their toes when they walk and the individual will probably have a higher likelihood of falling as a result. You might not notice it all the time, but it can still limit your walking ability on a routine basis. Some people cling to the use of a cane when they have walking problems, especially when you have foot drop. However, there are other options that we believe are better and more discreet.
A common compensatory movement for foot drop is called a “high steppage” gait. This suggests that the person can raise their knee more than normal, to help allow your foot to swing forward as you walk. In other words, you would not be dragging your toe because your exaggerated knee movement helps you avoid the foot drop problem.
Yes, when a person has a “high steppage gait” they can walk without dragging their toes, but this is not something you want to incorporate into your walking pattern for an extended period of time. We will discuss treatment options in the next section more in depth.
2.) Treatment Option : AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis)
Walking Braces / AFO (ankle foot orthosis): First we would like to point out that the word, “orthosis”, means “brace”. So, an AFO, really stands for ankle foot brace. These types of supports are valuable in helping to hold a person’s foot up when they want to walk. Certainly, this can be a big help to people as they no longer have to be concerned about dragging their toe when they walk. A person can find that their balance and speed increase with the use of an AFO. Furthermore, the energy needed for a high steppage gait can be eliminated so you won’t get as tired because the AFO can help you eliminate compensatory movements.
If you want to watch someone use their AFO and see how it benefits them, click on this link. It will take you to another area of our website : https://rinella-op.com/our-testimonials/ (Look for Kathy V.E., she will tell you about her experience).
Give us a call today for a free evaluation at 815-717-8970