Foot Drop Recovery

My foot drop has been gone for almost a week now. I know I’ve had this happen a few times in the past and its crept back in after a few days.

But this time feels so much different! The outer toes don’t still want to curl under and the big toe doesn’t want to point up anymore. My knee and hip feel different in a way I can’t quit describe, I just know, feel, there has been a change right up my leg.

It started a week ago, right after strength & balance class, and my balance was already having an off day :unamused: But my calf muscle started twitching and fluttering and decided it wasn’t going to stop…for a week.
Even my left calf tried to join in at night :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I just put up with it night and day almost none stop to see where it would lead. And of course I did my usual google research a few days ago:

Calf muscle twitching in stroke leg

Calf muscle twitching

I did also get mild pain up the outside of my calf, outside knee, outside thigh and up into outside of hip. And I still get the same mild pain down the trouser seam of my thigh that I always have. I’ve also had the odd little twinge in my spine and mild head pain/pressure the past day or two. I’m thinking/hoping they are all linked to this latest bit of stroke recovery. It’s been 3yrs now since my stroke and my anniversary was Christmas day so this would be a cool belated gift if it’s finally gone :blush:

The twitching seems to have stopped and the foot drop hasn’t returned…yet. It’s been 7 days, that’s the longest I’ve ever gone before the foot drop has sneaked back in :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:

I keep testing it out and I’ve just spent 2mins just standing on the stroke leg to test its balance. So far I’ve managed to maintain perfect balance for 2 whole minutes without the foot wanting to roll over or having to put my foot down. I moved my upper body around, watched tv, turning my head to check the timer, went up on my toes twice on it, and didn’t once need to put my other foot down. My calf did get a sensation of goose bumps for a while when I sat down afterwards :sweat_smile:

@Outlander Just so you know, I have not been to the gym since I came down with covid at the beginning of December. With Christmas and being busy with other things since, I haven’t yet had the chance to return. I have maintained my usual home exercise regime and my walking, just no weight resistance training.

The only new exercise I started last weekend because I’m so fed up with the foot trying roll out the way. I’ve been frequently lifting just the outside of my foot when standing straight or sitting upright, (tipping the ankle inwards). At the same time I had to concentrate on trying to keep my outer toes relaxed and not from curling under and my big toe on the floor stopping it from curling up towards the ceiling.

Heck, I’ve even been doing that exercise while I’ve been sitting here typing this post :sweat_smile:
The difference now is that the toes are staying naturally in place! AND the heel stays planted when I do squats as I’ve just discovered :blush: They are the big differences from when I’ve thought it had recovered in the past. On those occasions, particularly the big toe, still wanted to curl up.

I’ve created this post as a marker and in the hope I never have to return to it because the foot has reverted back to dropping :grimacing: :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:

Two other things I’ve been doing for the past 2yrs is using toe separators when doing my home exercises, and wearing toe socks, which have improved the splay of my toes. Being a woman who has spent many years in high heels and narrow toed shoes does squash your toes together over time. This can also throw off a persons balance. But since I’ve been doing this I have managed to improve the natural spread of my toes.


That’s sounding like excellent news @EmeraldEyes i really really hope that your foot drop never returns. It sounds really hopeful thats for sure.

Celebrations all around :partying_face::partying_face::partying_face:

P.s. loving the toe socks :grin: xx


I love the toe socks too, less risk of my foot drop sliding when it wanted to roll over. Don’t need another broke ankle :sweat_smile:

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Oh no more broken ankles. Think you’ve had your share of ailments…any more is just greedy :sweat_smile: am so pleased you’re progressing. It just shows perseverance & hard work pay off xx

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@EmeraldEyes @Mrs5K

This suggestion might do no good whatsoever, but, despite its strangeness might be worth a try.

Instead of fighting to avoid the clenched toes, try to actively encourage the clenching.

Take a pair of socks bundled together and exercise trying to pick them up with your toes.

  1. Put toes on sock bundle.
  2. Clench toes on socks.
  3. Attempt to lift socks with toes.
  4. Repeat until you can easily do the exercise.
  5. Try with your ‘good’ foot first so you know what you are trying to do.

This is an exercise I was given after an operation when I was young.

The background story, as always, is a long one.

Those were very different days. At the beginnings of the N.H.S.

I was six years old and being taken to school by my dad. We were on his motorbike I was sat behind him. I loved riding on that bike.

As we were going along I spotted my friend being walked to school by his mother. I turned on the pillion seat, as we passed them, to give them a cheery wave. I was such a show off.

Pride comes before a fall.

As I turned I stuck my foot in the back wheel and was thrown off the bike and onto the ground.

It hurt.

My dad was distraught and rushed me to the hospital where they looked me over and sent us home. I had a sprained and grazed ankle.

These stories always have a twist after a generous amount of preamble.

After a few days it became obvious that all was not well. It seems while at the hospital I had contracted gangrene and was in need of emergency surgery to remove my foot or possibly even my leg. My father refused to take me back to that hospital and I was taken to another.

I emerged from the operation and was taken home with my foot done up in a great ball of bandage. It itched so much I would have gladly have scratched and clawed it off. My mother said it was the flesh ‘knitting back together’. I was off school for quite a while but it was no pleasure due to the discomfort. There was good news. Somehow they had managed to save both my leg and my foot by just cutting away the infected area.

When I eventually returned to school I was subjected to intense tutoring to bring me up to speed with the lessons I had missed. After that my gait was slightly affected but I grew up able to run and enjoyed fell walking, even running both up and down the hills in the Lake District.

As a part of my recovery, to get my foot working again, I was given the sock exercise to repeat at school and at home. I’m pretty sure getting things working again was due to these regular repetitions.

I am of the opinion that you should deliberately and repeatedly clench toes until they begin to look after themselves.

Maybe it won’t work for stroke foot but could it be worth a try?

Well, @Mrs5K, you did ask for another of my stories.

If it doesn’t help, no worries. I’m sure you know by now that I take great pleasure in rambling on.

Whatever, all the best to you and . . .

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :grin: :+1:


Thank you Bobbi, that is a good exercise and I’ll start it today as I think the toes do need some strengthening now they are freer to do so. I’ve been walking them along the carpet by scrunching up the toes and gathering up a towel. They were ones I used to do after I’d broken my ankle a few years ago :smile:

I’m looking forward to my strength & balance class today to test the foot out some more to see how well it balances now without the foot drop to throw me off.

I had the added itch of being allergic to the metal pins and plate they put into my ankle, they drove me up the wall insane and the wounds weren’t healing :grimacing: So they had to operate again to remove them :sweat_smile:

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Well, Emerald, very happy for you
When I struggle with an off day, it often leads to some exciting new breakthrough. Otherwise, it’s just same old, same old every day.

And that inner feeling that something has changed for good… those are very real changes that we can detect within our bodies. We’re often not sure what has changed, but we know deep down it has. Excellent news,
ciao, Roland


Thank you @Bobbi i shall have to give it a go. Might be interesting until i get the hang of it :grin:

I enjoyed reading your story too…must have been difficult at the time but the way you’ve described it still made me smile :smiling_face:


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I’m certainly enjoying this new found freedom from drop foot.
I’ve noticed the change in just about every exercise I did today. Just with basic foot planting and positioning when doing upper body workouts or squats or wall press-ups.
And as for balance, that was spot on today. No toe sticking/dragging, no throwing me off as foot rolls sideways. And best of all, no walking like a drunk :laughing:

Just hoping and praying it continues to stay that way this time round :pray: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:


It’s sounding really positive for you @EmeraldEyes I have everything crossed it continues that way :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::grin::grin:

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Thanks @Mrs5K, I’d cross my toes too only I don’t want to risk reversing this progress. :laughing:

Oh that made me chuckle…a lot :rofl::rofl:

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It has now been 2 weeks without any sign of the foot drop returning.

There is no sign of the foot rolling outwards, so my balance in all things is much improved.
The true test for that has been climbing the stair. As I step up with my right stroke leg, there is no sign of the foot roll to tip me to the right. I can now climb the stairs quite easily without holding on to any rail. (Though I would never consider coming down the stairs without holding on regardless of capabilities.)

I still believe that one little exercise I started is what cinched for me…and I’m continuing to do it :smile:


Fingers crossed it continues to remain stable :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers::blush:

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Yay thats great news. Glad its still behaving & stairs are so much easier for you too.


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Now 3 weeks free of foot drop :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face:


I’ve been aware of your foot drop progress. :slight_smile:

I haven’t got the sort of visceral understanding that you have of what happened -obviously!

Are you saying that you have evolved walking capability to the point where You declared a functional milestone and you are celebrating that ?

Or are you saying you woke up one morning and a neurological deficit that you had previously lived with had disappeared?

Either way I massively happy for you that you have put a debilitation behind you and I’d like to increase my understanding a little :slight_smile:

Yay so happy for you @EmeraldEyes. Feels like you have cracked it :partying_face::partying_face::partying_face::partying_face::partying_face::partying_face::partying_face::partying_face:

Hi Emerald,

I remember when you wrote this.
Well, I am going to have to look up all about foot drop because on my off day / yin day, I get mild foot drop. But what’s more is that the forces which act on my foot are building, and I know I’m going to have this problem / already do have it, since my heel is barely touching floor.

It comes from my locked glute, and ends up in my foot.

I don’t know why I am bothering you with this, but there’s so much advice out there, and so many different causes of foot drop, but I resonate with your descriptions,

bye for now, ciao, Roland


Yes, I found the foot drop more pronounced on off days as well as towards the end of the day.

Nowadays I still get a hint of it but I think I’m keeping it at bay with the increased core strength and stability I’ve been…and kicking myself for doing it sooner. And yes, my heel would also like to lift :roll_eyes: Doing any kind of forward bends/touching toes, squats, that heel would always lift. :confounded: It doesn’t anymore! :grin:

But I do still have underpronation where the foot wants to roll out. So now I have put a shoe insert into my shoes, including slipper. Just for along the outside of my foot to tip it in the way, to realign the leg and maybe waken something up. Comparing my two legs during exercise I can feel the difference in the way the muscles move and the lack of burn in my stroke leg…but muscle is still building, go figure :confused:

And I recon it’s all going to boil down to spine and hip alignment. I’m looking forward to you going to an osteopath and hearing what they do for you there…as well as all the positive feedback as they start unlocking you. Your back and hip are going to get a good working over that’s for sure! :smile: Just your back is going to start feeling so much more supple and mobile. All the work done to get you walking after a fashion has your spine tied up in knots and pulling and pinching on nerves and tendons, tugging you out of alignment like a puppet with it’s string in a tangle.

Be prepared for your spine and hip unlocks. I’ll warn you now, it’s scary as !!! First time it happened to me years ago, I thought I was going to be paralysed for life from the neck down. I rolled over onto my side in bed one night and felt a click in the centre of my spine and it ricocheted up and down my spine, through my hip and down my leg to the tips of my toes. It pinched and had little shooting pains and tingles and pins and needles and I was left feeling like a puppet with its string cut. It was scary! Only lasted a minute or so, but afterwards I got up and felt so loose, like being freed from a straightjacket. And that was only from sciatica due to osteoarthritis in my hip, I went to my osteopath for help with that. Well, it took the pain away! :smile:

So don’t despair Roland, I’m looking forward to hearing nothing but good things to come :wink:

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Unfortunately Emerald,

I’m quite sure I am twisted and pulled out of alignment, here, there, everywhere ; My walking is stiff as a plank. I hope to reconnect with an osteopath I visited 15 yrs ago ; because we (dare I say it) “clicked”.!

Get this ; the closer I get to normalcy, the more I realize how far I am

My latest breakthrough I call the X-Frame ; it’s all about stretching an imaginary frame, the 4 corners of which are the hips and shoulders. I think an athlete would call this fascial sling. When I stretch out my shoulder I hear all sorts of bone crunching. Stretching the frame diagonally straightens my entire affected leg; it relieves the tight glute, & it even straightens out my foot. I will write an article on this, because I believe it is key. My suspicion is that my X-frame is distorted with the 2 corners on my affected side compressed in towards the centre due to hyper-tone and tightness.

I’m glad your foot is at bay, your heel sounds like it’s behaving, and I share your belief that a good core (x-frame) is key. I work all day on my stroke in one way or another. I would hope for progress and to make progress this year; but true progress has to be earned with hard work ; I hope don’t disappoint myself by slacking off at any stage.

My skeleton is already quite clicky and clunky ; I hope that’s a good sign from working on my x-frame. Thank you for writing, and sharing your experience with me. It gives me strength.

Speak soon, have a nice Sunday, ciao, Roland