Thursday, 8 September 2022

Foot Drop and Balance Issues

My MS is also slightly affecting my left foot (about 1 step in 10, my left foot doesn't 'rise' as well as it should)... sometimes, I seem to "roll" as I walk! It's called "foot drop".

✨ It feels like my left foot gets stuck in the mud, and I have to pull it out to keep walking.

"Foot Drop" is characterized by a stepped walking gait. While walking, you may drag your toes on the ground, or bend your knee to lift your foot higher than usual, to avoid dragging. Other walking gaits such as a wide outward leg swing may also indicate foot drop.

►  ArticleFoot Drop in MS

Now I understand why some people pre-MS-diagnosis are simply thought to be "drunk", because of the way they walk - that's what happened to the Faces bass player, Ronnie Lane!

It's only a very slight/mild thing, really, the way it's affecting me. I've noticed I don't walk as fast as I use to (down the street, I mean)... My days of either being bare-foot or wearing just thongs/flip-flops (when I'm out) are now a thing of the past. It's pure habit wearing thongs/flip-flops... I think I just need to throw them out! I haven't tripped, but because I'm much more aware of my walking, I don't want poorly-chosen footwear to be a reason for a fall, either!

Balance Issues

My sense of balance is out as well... if I stand still, I will sway very slightly - no, I am not drunk. I have to sit down to do anything. Combined with my Foot Drop, this affects how long I am able to stand/walk/move effectively for a given period. 

From now on, I'll use a walking stick or walker on my long walking journeys (ie. around town) - along with the occasional weird balance-loss, it's a good back-up, "just in case" - so I do not fall over when I walk/move. Around the home/garden etc isn't a problem for me. Plus with my occasional slight loss of balance, this will help give me a little bit more confidence to get around.

►  Article: The Effects of MS on Balance (pdf)
►  Article: Balance and Walking
►  Article: Balance & MS

I've found I now walk a whole lot more slowly than I used to - and that's OK.

Grocery shopping is OK for me, as well, as I can use the shopping trolley I'm pushing to act as a 'support' in times of a sudden 'weird feeling.

It's still all very new to me, this whole MS journey... every day/week sees new insights into how it's affecting me... maybe even possibly for years prior, unknowingly!

I think I've noticed the whole walking thing, as now I'm more aware of some different MS symptoms - and my neurologist agrees with me about it.

I had a random thought/memory a few months ago... when I was c.19, I fell flat on my face after tripping for no apparent reason, simply walking during a soccer game... might have been foot drop way back then? Who knows?

► Video: MS Exercises to Help Manage Foot Drop

Bookmark this page: MS Footdrop and Balance Issues

Peas be with ewe 

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