I must be completely daft at searching the web, because I cannot seem to find any exercises for foot drop (in relation to MS), specifically dorsiflexion exercises. Does anyone know of a website that would help in this area?
Dawna, I quickly found several exercises, and some sites specifically mention MS. I couldn't find precisely the ones I've been using for the last year or two, but mine are similar. I was told by both a Physical Therapist and a Vascular Surgeon (to help a MAJOR varicose vein in my non-MS leg) to also walk around the house on my toes.
I've been doing the Calf Raises and Toe to Heel Rock most every day, followed by 25 steps through the house on my toes and 20 steps on my heels. (Not sure which one recommended that routine.) I still tip over easily and have a bit of a Frankenstein gait
but my legs are super strong. I also look for shoes that curl up a little on the end so they don't catch so easily.
I also do lots of leg lifts in different positions to strengthen my upper thighs at my hips, because we figured out that's a spot that's particularly weak on me and is part of the reason my legs are hard to raise off the floor. My lower thighs are already muscular from years of exercise, but that doesn't matter to my toes.
Of course that all went to hell when I clumsily broke my toe in February (bad, painful break). I'm still recovering from that, but my toes are finally getting their strength back and I can roll up on them again.
Good luck - I hope these work for you!
P.S. Cycling at the gym and using their toe pushing machine (whatever it's called) helped, too, but I haven't been there for awhile.http://www.buzzle.com/articles/foot-drop-exercises.html
Exercises for Foot Drop
There are several foot drop physical therapy exercises that have been formulated to better help you with in dealing with this situation. Given below are some of the most effective leg exercises for a foot drop injury.
1. Sit comfortably on a chair with your back properly supported.
2. Lift both legs up in front of you so that they are parallel to the ground.
3. Hold at the sides of the chair for support so that there is no straining in the thighs.
4. Curl your toes in so that they are pointing towards the stomach.
5. Hold this position for 5 seconds and release.
6. Repeat 15 times.
7. Take a break of half a minute and repeat 3 sets of the same.
Leg Flex 1. Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front of you.
2. Lift your legs slightly off the ground and flex your toes so that the toes are curled towards the body. Hold the position for 5 counts.
3. Now flex the leg in the opposite direction so that the toes are curled away from the body. Hold this position for 5 counts.
4. Do this for both legs (if both legs are affected).
5. Repeat 10 times on both sides.
Ball Lift 1. Sit on a chair and grab the sides for support.
2. Place a tennis ball on the ground.
3. Now with your toes (bare feet) try and lift the ball off the ground and bring it to the level of the knees or as high up as you can manage.
4. Do this for both legs.
5. Repeat 10 times. Then take a break and repeat 3 sets of the same.
Foot Band 1. Sit on the floor and extend your legs out.
2. Now place a rubber band and wrap it around the toes (make sure it doesn't snap).
3. Now stretch the fingers as far as you can on the band.
4. Hold for 5 seconds and relax.
5. Repeat on the injured leg(s) a total 10-15 times.
1. Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and take a towel and loop it over your foot.
2. Now pull the towel holding both ends, so that you stretch out the toes and foot towards the body.
3. Hold for 6 seconds and release.
4. Do 6-8 times.
Cycling 1. One of the most effective of all foot drop exercises is the simple cycling exercise.
2. Use a stationery bike, a real cycle or even lying on the floor and repeating the cycling motion is just as effective.
3. This exercise strengthens the entire foot and helps in restoring dexterity of the same.
The bottom link says they're for MS foot drop.http://www.livestrong.com/article/17738 ... exercises/http://www.livestrong.com/article/22443 ... foot-drop/
Toe-to-Heel RockOsteopathclinic.com says to stand with your hands on a table or the wall for support and rise up on your toes. Hold this position for about 5 seconds then lower your heels and rock back on them so your toes are in the air and you feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Hold this position for 6 seconds then repeat the entire sequence six times.
Specifically for MS:
Foot CurlsFoot curls help strengthen the tibialis anterior muscle along the front of the shin that is responsible for lifting the foot at the ankle. To perform this exercise, sit in a chair with your legs extended and parallel to the floor. Slowly curl your toes toward you as far as you can and hold for two seconds. Release the toes and repeat ten times. Take a rest and do one more set.
Calf RaisesCalf raises help strengthen the calf muscle which is the opposite, or agonist, muscle used in the motion of lifting the foot at the ankle. The calf muscle needs to be strong and flexible to assist the tibialis anterior in the movement. To perform an easy calf raise exercise, stand on the ground with your feet hip-width apart. Begin to rise up on your toes, so that the weight of your body is on the ball of your foot. Hold for two seconds and release. Repeat 10 times for two sets. You can also increase the amount of time you hold at the top.
Calf StretchIt is important that your calf muscles be flexible so as not to inhibit the movement of lifting your foot up at the ankle. To perform a calf stretch, stand on a step with your feet hip-width distance apart. Allow your heels to hang off the back of the step. You should feel a stretch down the back of your leg, but mostly in your calf muscle. Hold there for 20 seconds and release. Perform this stretch every day.