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Foot drop ?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by D'niceTMS, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. D'niceTMS

    D'niceTMS New Member


    I saw Dr. Schubiner. He confirmed that I do have TMS. He was non-committal on the cause of the foot drop. He said the doctor in him thinks it is a physical problem: something attacked the nerve roots. I explained that Dr. Sarno spoke of foot drop being a TMS manifestation in his books. Also, Steve O. experienced foot drop as one of his TMS symptoms. In the end, he recommended that I get some physical therapy to strengthen the muscles. When I have had physical therapy before, the place that I went to used ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. To be honest, it brought relief, but nothing permanent. At the time, I did not know I was dealing with TMS. What improved my symptoms was exercising and getting more active. Basically, hitting the pain head on. By the end of my appointment with Dr. Schubiner, he thought it might be a possibility that the foot drop was TMS to, based on my emotional experiences.

    My question to you is to ask what type of physical therapy should I be looking for to help with this foot drop? Whether it be physical or TMS, I want to get my foot back! I would appreciate any recommendation!

  2. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Denise!

    Glad you got in to see Dr. Schubiner! Sounds a little tricky in your case, which is probably why he was waffling. If you had the shingles virus, that certainly could be a cause of foot drop due to the L4 nerve root being affected. However, TMS could have piggybacked onto the shingles (since that resolved a while ago) and be the cause of the persistent weakness at this point. Maybe that's what Dr. Schubiner was getting at? It would definitely make sense to me!

    In terms of physical therapy for this, here's my philosophy: ultrasound doesn't do much of anything and I don't use it. TENS is for pain relief only, no functional benefit beyond this. I definitely recommend exercising and getting more active, maybe adding in some strengthening exercises for your foot- these are really simple, just trying to lift up your foot to get the muscles going. Even if it is TMS, getting your foot moving is a good idea.

    I think doing the TMS programs like the SEP would be beneficial at the same time. You have to remember that foot drop is a symptom that could be caused by a number of things- TMS, shingles, a true spinal cord injury, etc. Others who write about foot drop as PURE TMS might have had a different story. Yours may well be a combination of TMS and a nerve root that is still healing from the shingles. Try some simple strengthening for your foot plus TMS programs.

    Let me know if you have other questions, I hope that helps!
    Ellen likes this.
  3. D'niceTMS

    D'niceTMS New Member

    Thank you for your quick response! I did have a lumbar puncture. They ruled out disease. The only thing they could come up with is the shingles attack. So, I don't need to go to a physical rehab center? I ride a bike for 20 minutes for 5 days. I also walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes, after biking at 1.7.

    I am determined to get this foot back and will do any work that needs to be done to get there!

  4. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    It depends what your gut feeling is. If everything had been ruled out and you and Schubiner think it's TMS then skip the PT. If you think it could be some residual weakness from the shingles then PT is appropriate. I know it's hard to tell. You could always go for a session or 2 and just ask for foot exercises to do at home- no e stim or ultrasound! Strengthening only!
    Karl likes this.
  5. billiewells

    billiewells Peer Supporter

    I have had partial foot drop for three years now as I try to heal. There are so few footdrop stories it is such a relief to hear a successful one. I too am stumped as to how to proceed and seem to be failing to find the right process. Exasperating :(
  6. D'niceTMS

    D'niceTMS New Member

    Thank you! I am not sure what to think...I still get intermittent foot pain (TMS). This is so hard
    Treat the footdrop as TMS and see where it takes you!! I no longer fear that it will get better...it is just a matter of when!

    Best wishes,

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