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How to Prevent Foot Drop in Bed

Posted by:

Johannes Sauer

Published at: July 10, 2024

Table of Contents
  1. What is Foot Drop?

  2. Common Causes of Foot Drop

    1. Stroke

    2. Multiple Sclerosis

    3. Nerve Injury

  3. Risks of Foot Drop in Bed

  4. Other Complications of Extended Bed Rest

  5. Can Adaptive Shoes Help?

If you or a loved one requires extended bed rest, one potential complication is foot drop. This post will discuss more about this condition, its common causes, and how to prevent and recover from it.

What is Foot Drop?

Foot drop is a condition where a patient is unable to fully lift the front part of the foot. It can affect either or both feet, and results in an unnatural gait when walking.

Common Causes of Foot Drop

Foot drop has many potential causes besides extended bed rest. Let’s look at a few of the most prevalent ones.


Between 20% and 30% of patients experience foot drop following a stroke. After a stroke, patients must re-train their gait.

Multiple Sclerosis

Another common cause of foot drop is multiple sclerosis (MS). It is unknown what percentage of MS patients experience foot drop, but reports are frequent. It is important to not only treat the foot drop, but the MS as well, for the best outcomes.

Nerve Injury

An injury to a nerve can also lead to foot drop. Nerve injuries can be slow to heal, so this effect can last for some time.

Risks of Foot Drop in Bed

Jul 10, 2024

Extended bed rest is one possible factor that can lead to the development of foot drop. The constant pull of gravity stretches out the front part of the lower leg where it attaches to the foot. This exerts strain on muscles and nerves, which in turn can result in weakness and foot drop.

Some options that can help to prevent foot drop as a complication of extended bed rest include ankle pumps and similar exercises and stretches. Wearing a padded splint may also help.

Other Complications of Extended Bed Rest

Foot drop is not the only possible complication of extended bed rest. Other complications of spending a prolonged amount of time in bed include constipation, weak bones, stiff joints, sleep problems, pressure ulcers, depression and more. 

Work with the patient’s doctor to find solutions that will help to prevent or treat these complications of extended bed rest.

Can Adaptive Shoes Help?

Once the patient can get out of bed and begin the work of rehabilitation, adaptive shoes may help them to recover from foot drop.

Patients with foot drop can benefit from wearing shoes that are designed to help the wearer to maintain a natural gait and walk safely and easily across uneven surfaces.

The Cadense Original Adaptive Shoes for men and women fit the bill. They feature proprietary variable friction technology that lets the wearer “glide” over uneven terrain.

These shoes have additional features that make them a suitable choice for people who are recovering from foot drop.

A wide, stable base and plenty of support for the ankle help to keep feet aligned and prevent falls. 

In addition, the lightweight materials ensure that the patient does not have to work hard to lift the feet, minimizing fatigue. 

We designed these shoes to be stylish, and offer them in a range of colors. Customers tell us that even after recovering from foot drop, they continue wearing them both for their appearance and comfort.



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How can you prevent foot drop for a person on bed rest?

Yes, try having the person wear a padded splint, and/or perform appropriate foot and ankle stretches and exercises.

What are some effective exercises to prevent foot drop?

Ankle pumps are recommended for patients who need extended bed rest to help prevent foot drop. So are gentle stretches. Exercises can also help a patient to recover from foot drop.

Can you position yourself in bed to prevent foot drop?

A patient can rest in bed wearing a padded splint designed to help prevent foot drop, or prop the heels above the bed using a foam wedge called a bed heel elevator.

Posted by: Johannes Sauer

Johannes is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cadense and passionate about helping people with walking difficulties. Johannes is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cadense and passionate about helping people with walking difficulties. He was immediately drawn to the mission of the company because his cousin lost his lower leg in a tragic motorcycle accident a few years ago and is experiencing walking difficulties ever since. Johannes brings over a decade of experience in working for consumer product companies to Cadense. He holds an MBA from the University of Graz in Austria. Johannes lives with his family in Santa Barbara, CA.

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