Some Logic Behind Foot Dragging and Shorter Stride

Not open for further replies.


Senior member
Aug 24, 2007
Normally we have a longer stride and pick our feet up higher when we walk .
When the balance Mechanism goes astray the body's self protect device kicks in. it doesnt want the feet off the ground for very long . This is where the foot dragging comes in and the shorter stride . So we can say our Cerebellum is affected ,in so much as the Motor Cortex and it dont communicate too hot . Sometimes you can stand at a counter and lift one foot up and hold it there ,then the other . I beleive this will help some with Balance ,Maybe not a whole lot but . I also while im there push up to my tip toes and hold it there for a minute ,more muscle stretches . Another one i do is ,sit in a chair and lay the legs on another chair directly in front of me ,then point the toes back towards you ,this one stretches the calf muscles . Geo hope this can help
You've got the right instinct, Geo. These are part of the regimine given to me by the physical therapist.
Yep you guys sound just like me. Boy those stiff muscles, and ill motor neuron's sure feel better from a good stretch. Geo going to do the stretch you mentioned, you always have those good ideas, keep them coming my friend..Hoping

Geo. I thought that was a great and clear way to describe foot drop. I have been noticing lately that my husband is doing more of a shuffle. The only relief he finds for the stiffness is pool therapy. I have been wondering if orthodic braces would be helpful..fearing a fall. Hope you are feeling well these days.
Kelly - I highly recommend Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFOs). I walk so much better and rarely trip when I have them on. If it wasn't so akward I'd sleep in them! I have carbon fiber AFOs made by "Toe Off". My PT was so happy I got the "good ones". Very comfortable.

Hi Kelly -

I'll second Sharon's recco on the AFO's. They have definitely stabilized my walking. If your husband's hands are bad he may need help putting them on. Dr. Cooper gave me a script for them as soon as I asked.

The one that feels the best for me is when i sit in a chair and point the toes back toward me ,If i hold it there for a minute ,its Heavenly ,my calves feel much better Also you can use something to pull the toes back like a rope .Mayo gave me a Rubber thing . You can also sit on the floor and do this ,but i find 2 chairs is good . AFO,s are Great from what ive heard . But im stuborn and havent gotten them yet . I was at Baseball Spring Training and saw a Young Girl with her father there ,she had them on ,she was only 11 -12 . I felt so bad for her .So Young and to have something that would Keep her from having a normal life . I feel so bad to see the young folks disabled .At Least most of us have has a Life until now . Geo
last april i was using one afo on my left foot, i was very thickheaded and didn't want to use it at all, that whole pride thing, but i was able to walk the entire park at disney without assistance. this year i need for both but what i difference when walking. i encourage anyone who needs them to get them and not wait.
I have one for my left foot, but I have to admit, I've stopped wearing it. It hurts like he**. And yes, it's been refitted. Still hurts. Put a piece of hard plastic in your shoe and there's no way it's going to feel good.

SharonCA, what is carbon fiber? Is it soft?
Whitsend - Carbon Fiber is the latest thing in AFOs. Just google carbon fiber AFO and see what comes up. The one I have is by the manufacturer ToeOff. These are so comfortable I can hardly believe it. Everyone I have shown them to has just been amazed. I was even showing them off at the ALS TDI meeting last Saturday at Long Beach.

They look like metal but it really isn't. I think it is the same material used for artificial legs/feet - the curved ones that people run on.

I don't know about other brands but mine are great. I got them through a rehab place in Palm Desert CA.

i have the carbon afo's , they slip in my shoe, one strap at the top and i'm ready to go. they don't even weigh a pound, very light weight
Thank you so much SharonCa and panamokapal. I'm definitely going to look into this.
Not open for further replies.