Chiropractic Helps With Foot Drop

Research News Staff
Chiropractic Helps With Foot Drop

Recent Research Adds to Evidence of Chiropractic’s Role  

Recent research reporting on a 24-year-old weight lifter who lost strength in his leg showed improvement following chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for people with these conditions. The research, reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for people with these conditions.


“Research is revealing that structural abnormalities of the spine and extremities can cause loss of motor function and lead to problems like foot drop that chiropractors can help" stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a researcher, public health expert and editor of the journal that published the study. “This case adds to the body of scientific literature suggesting that chiropractic should play an important role in managing people with these types of problems.” 

The patient in the study was experiencing something called Deep Peroneal Nerve Entrapment which can lead to a condition known as foot drop. Deep peroneal nerve entrapment presents with a decrease in strength in the muscles fed by the deep peroneal nerve. As the peroneal nerve becomes entrapped, it results in a decreased nerve supply to the muscles of the leg. The peroneal nerve is a continuation of the sciatic nerve which arises from the lower back so structural problems with the spine can cause or add to the nerve problem.

McCoy stated “Abnormal spinal alignment and posture can lead to these types of nerve dysfunctions. Normal spinal function, alignment and posture helps distribute forces from the feet up to the head.” He added abnormal spinal alignment and posture also increase stress and strain to nerve and blood supply which can seriously affect the nervous system.” 

The patient reported on in the study was a 24-year-old male weight lifter who presented with an acute case of foot drop. The patient stated he went to get out of the bed in the morning and had no strength in his lower right leg. He described presence of mild tingling on the anterior surface of the right lower leg below the knee. It was observed that the patient could not lift his foot backwards and his muscles in the leg were weakened and he lost sensation.

He underwent a chiropractic examination which revealed subluxations in his spine and the joints of his leg. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra and other joints can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

The patient was given full spine chiropractic adjustments, manipulations to his lower leg and electrical muscle stimulation. By the third visit there was normal muscle contraction and he could move his foot. 

After 12 chiropractic visits there was a full resolution of his foot drop and during every visit, there was a noticeable improvement in the patient’s condition. His strength and sensation all returned to normal. 

Contact Information:

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research


McCoy Press