Home > Blog > Physiotherapy > Foot Drop Physiotherapy

Foot Drop Physiotherapy

Foot drop, sometimes called drop foot, is a medical term to explain difficulty lifting the front part of the foot to walk or move. It basically means a

  • weakness
  • difficulty/inability
  • paralysis

to lift up the foot, and this will cause the patient to drag one's toes or top of the shoes on the ground or to compensate by "slapping" the feet on the floor as one walks with the foot with drop foot.

No, drop foot is not a disease. In fact, it is caused by either/combination of:

  • anatomical problem
  • muscle problem
  • neurological problem

Thankfully, it is usually a short term (temporary) condition, but in some patients, it may be a permanent condition.

Patients who have drop foot will benefit from immediate and ongoing:

  1. Drop foot physiotherapy by our senior physiotherapists which includes muscle strengthening, electrotherapy to stimulate the muscles and affected nerves, balance and gait training
  2. Customized resting foot splint and customized dynamic walking foot splint by our senior hand therapist
  3. Deep tissue release to stimulate muscle growth, stimulate blood circluation and release tight muscle knots from overcompensatory muscles
  4. Acupuncture to stimulate nerve, circulation and Qi healing

Drop foot can affect young and old, men and women, and it can be so debilitating that even the most simple tasks can become ultra-difficult.

drop foot symptoms

The #1 symptom of drop foot is precisely the name of the condition "drop foot". Basically patients who has this condition find themselves being unable to lift up their foot at the ankle. Mostly it's due to an injury to the peroneal nerve, but it can be caused by other conditions such as stroke or even slipped disc.

Having drop foot makes it very difficult to walk normally, because of the mechanism of the symptom. Standing upright is ok, but walking requires one to move forward using a series of movement including lifting the feet up alternatively, and since this cannot be done, patients will usually compensate by lifting their hip higher and this results in a "foot slapping motion" onto the floor as they walk.

Thankfully, foot drop usually affects only one side (ie one foot), though in some instances, it may cause both feet to have foot drop. In some cases, patients with foot drop may also experience altered sensation in the affected foot such as

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • pins and needles
  • cold

foot drop physiotherapy and other treatments


Be it temporary or permanent foot drop, patients will 100% benefit and need physiotherapy interventions, and physiotherapy for foot drop will depend entirely on the cause of the foot drop. Most of the time, if the cause of the temporary foot drop is accurately diagnosed and accurately treated, the foot drop may disappear quickly and entirely. And conversely, if it isn't accurately diagnosed and treated, drop foot may become permanent.

Physiotherapy interventions includes:

  • physio and rehab exercises that targets to strengthen your leg muscles
  • improve and maintain the range of motion in your hips, knees and ankle
  • gait retraining
  • stretching exercises are also very important to prevent stiffness to set in your ankle and heel
  • electrotherapy to stimulate muscle and nerve growth and maintenance
  • referral to foot and ankle specialists and hand therapist for customized foot and ankle splinting

Hand Therapy

Patients with foot drop will benefit from having

  • customized resting foot and ankle splint
  • customized dynamic/walking foot and ankle splint

fabricated for your feet with foot drop. The resting version helps to keep your foot in 90 degrees flexion, to prevent it from stiffening in a flat/extended position (which will dampen your ability to stand upright or walk). The dynamic version is to help you keep your feet 90 degrees as you walk.

Deep tissue release / sports massage and Acupuncture

may be helpful to

  • stimulate muscles and nerve growth
  • stimulate blood circulation
  • improve recovery rate
  • prevent stiffness
  • etc

Invasive corrective surgery usually is a last resort for patients with permanent irreversible foot drop. These patient may benefit from ankle or foot bones fusion. Sometimes in some specific conditions, the surgeon may recommend tendon transfer, but these are based on the expert advice on orthopedic doctors and surgeons.

Back to Top

book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)

Phoenix Rehab Physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to

  1. manage and decrease hand pains
  2. improve range of motion, strength and dexterity
  3. increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.


  • Cupping TCM
  • Auricular Therapy TCM
  • Herbal TCM Medicine & Supplementation


Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and  shorten downtime / recovery period required.

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.

Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

do Tell Your Family, Friends And Colleagues About Us =)

We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the # 1 way we grow as a clinic / brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We prefer not to rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)

Recent Articles

  1. Physiotherapy and Hand Therapy at Tampines Singapore

    Jan 18, 23 03:01 AM

    Phoenix Rehab Physiotherapy and Hand Therapy at Tampines Singapore

    Read More

  2. Germaine Sim Hand Therapist

    Dec 11, 22 03:43 AM

    Germain Sim is a hand therapist practicing hand therapy, splinting, assessing and treating finger, hand and elbow pains in Phoenix Rehab

    Read More

  3. Adele Ang Principal Physiotherapist Singapore

    Jun 29, 22 08:32 AM

    Adele is a registered physiotherapist with over 25 years of experience including treating national athletes as well as recreational athletes having worked in Singapore Sports Council and Singapore Spo…

    Read More

  4. Achilles Tendon Pain Physiotherapy

    Feb 03, 22 04:05 AM

    Achilles tendon pain is very common among recreational and elite sportspeople. But it is also common among sedentary individuals

    Read More

  5. Tendonitis Physiotherapy & Hand Therapy

    Feb 03, 22 12:16 AM

    Tendonitis, tendinopathy and tendinosis are all tendon injuries and treated by physiotherapists and hand therapists

    Read More

  6. Cervical Spondylosis Physiotherapy

    Jan 11, 22 02:01 AM

    Cervical spondylosis is a general term to describe the degenerative condition in the neck which results in pain and other symptoms

    Read More

  7. Tendon Pain Tendinopathy Physiotherapy

    Jan 07, 22 12:28 AM

    Tendinopathy (tendon injuries) can develop in any tendon of the body and has many names such as tendinitis and it can be treated with good tendon physiotherapy

    Read More

  8. The importance of staging and compression in tendinopathy physio

    Dec 15, 21 01:47 AM

    Tendon problems are common in runners and can become a persistent issue if not properly treated.

    Read More

  9. Tendon Pain Physiotherapy and Hand Therapy

    Dec 14, 21 11:23 PM

    Pain and pathology in a tendon, known as tendinopathy, is a common injury in athletes that can be difficult to manage. Physio and hand therapy can help healing

    Read More

  10. Tendon Injuries Physiotherapy, Hand Therapy, TCM & Massage

    Dec 07, 21 01:31 AM

    We use the world’s best tendon recovery programs through cutting edge treatment techniques for all tendon injuries (and tendon injuries differ accordingly)

    Read More