Monday, April 21, 2014

David Roberts, President
North Shore Physical Therapy Associates
Contact our Office
Marblehead Medical Building
1 Widger Rd
Marblehead, MA 01945
Telephone 781-631-8250
Facsimile 781-639-2060
Salem Fitness Center
38 Swampscott Rd
Salem, MA 01970
Telephone 978-910-0486
Facsimile 978-910-0485


Front Desk was very efficient.  Adam (bless him!) was very patient and good at explaining all therapy.  He was skillful in pin pointing areas of pain. I can’t think of any negative thoughts towards NSPT, always helpful and on time. Janet S.

Everyone here is terrific- Friendly, capable, knowledgeable and experienced, Particularly Stephen and Chelsi.  I have improved significantly and with the knowledge imparted by Stephen that should keep me in good health as I go forwardon my own.  Anonymous

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Don't have insurance? NSPT offers FREE Injury Screens.  We also have a private pay rate if Physical Therapy is needed beyond your screening. Our private pay rate is $100 per 1/2 hour of treatment.  Call today and we will reduce your fee to JUST $65!





Physical Therapy for Foot Drop

Foot drop syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by weak muscles in the front of the lower leg. This can result in partial or total loss of control over the foot. This affects the ability to lift the foot at the ankle.

Damage to the nerve fibers that allow the flexing of the ankle and toes can cause several problems. For example, the toes point towards the floor when the foot is lifted up from the ground. When patients attempt to walk, they tend to drag the foot along the ground. They further compensate by lifting the knee higher than usual.

Foot drop can often be the sign of a major underlying complication, rather than a 'simple' inability to raise the foot. It can be caused by a nerve injury, spinal or brain disorder or muscle disorder. Foot drop can affect one foot or both feet and can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause.

Physical therapy plays an important role in the management of foot drop. It allows patients to experience better mobility, which leads to an improved quality of life.

Exercise Goes a Long Way...

Exercise Therapy

Exercise is the primary treatment for patients with foot drop. Strengthening exercises of the muscles within the foot and the lower limbs help maintain muscle tone. Such exercises will help strengthen and stretch the foot while returning mobility to the ankle.

Stretching exercises are an excellent treatment for foot drop. Physical therapists will advise patients to sit on the floor, place a towel around the foot, hold onto both ends and gently pull the towel towards them. This helps stretch the muscles of the calf and foot.

Other exercises include leg flexes and toe curls. Several sets and repetitions are required to stimulate the muscles sufficiently.

Electrical Stimulation

In some patients with foot drop, physical therapists may advise a treatment regime that includes electrical stimulations of the nerves and muscle fibers. This helps generate electrical impulses within the muscles and can, to an extent, help increase the tone and the contractility.

Gait Training

Gait signifies the way a person walks. A gait abnormality is a deviation from normal walking.

Gait training is recommended for those patients with significant gait problems. This treatment helps a patient walk more efficiently and improve stability by incorporating different strength and balance exercises.

At times, gait training requires the use of walkers, canes and parallel bars to safeguard the patient.

A gait belt is an assistive device used to help a patient maintain balance during training.

Braces and Splints

For individuals with limited control over their foot muscles, an "Ankle-Foot-Orthosis (AFO)" is used to help improve gait. AFO are L-shaped braces designed to support the function of the ankle and foot by keeping them perpendicular (at an angle of 90 degrees). This helps to keep the foot off of the ground while walking.

The Road to Recovery

Foot drop can be rather debilitating for patients and can affect mobility to a great degree. While there are several causes of foot drop, physical therapy is the most effective treatment option.

Long-term outcomes vary but many patients can regain significant function and mobility following a physical therapy plan of care.

As your trusted healthcare professionals with several years of experience treating muscular and neurological conditions, we promise to take good care of you. Together, we will walk the road to recovery.

Don't hesitate, reach out to us today and give us the opportunity to show you how physical therapy can change your life.

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North Shore Physical Therapy Associates 1 Widger Rd suite 105 Marblehead Ma 01945 Phone: 781-631-8250