FES Physiotherapy and AFO for Foot Drop Treatment: Which is better?

If you see a person dragging or scrapping their toes or indicating any kind of complication while walking or holding up their frontal part of the foot, they might probably be dealing with a foot drop condition. Typically, it occurs owing to a nerve injury – precisely, damage to the peroneal nerve responsible for controlling the foot movement.  

But since foot drop is not a disease, the good news is that it can be fixed with standard medical treatments such as the FES physiotherapy or leveraging other AFO devices. So, now the question arises, which medical treatment is the right choice for people to cure the problem of foot drop – the FES physiotherapy or the AFO? If you have been wondering the same, this article will be an informative read for you because this article is about getting a quick overview of these foot drop treatments to clear your mind. In the end, there is a bonus tip with which you will be delighted! Sounds interesting? Well, let’s get started!

What Does FES Physiotherapy and AFO Physiotherapy Mean?

Let’s investigate the two most traditionally practiced medical treatments preferred by professionals to deal with the difficulty of foot drop patients. 

FES Physiotherapy

FES represents Functional Electrical Stimulation. The FES device is a drop foot electrical stimulation device effective to help revive the original muscle functionality. Thus, FES devices generate minor electrical impulses to stimulate damaged nerves in the targeted muscles. FES physiotherapy becomes appealing as it is an ideal treatment that can help correct the cause of foot drop to a stage where treatment may no longer be required.

AFO Physiotherapy

Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) is a specialized therapy method, particularly formulated to stabilize the condition of compromised mobility of the affected person. Moreover, AFO devices help improve the lower limb difficulties by assisting the joint movement with the correct walking pattern. It also provides solid support for placing the foot and ankle in an accurate position. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of AFO Physiotherapy

Here are a few benefits of the AFO therapy and some significant defects in the AFO models.


  • AFO therapy incorporates different patient-centric devices to comprehensively support various dorsiflexion (foot drop) and plantar flexion problems by providing a substantial base (braces with walking soles) designed inside them. 
  • AFO foot drop braces facilitate avoiding the development of odd gait patterns by ensuring a natural and stable walking style.
  • Regardless of the injury type, AFO braces lower the chances of stumbling and falling, even in patients who cannot feel their limb movement due to weak joints and tendons. 


  • AFO braces for foot drop can limit the air circulation around the foot and ankles, which may ultimately bring about the formation of new wounds. 
  • Some custom-made AFO devices can also cause painful skin rubbing and irritation, leading to unnatural walking postures.

Benefits and Drawbacks of FES Physiotherapy

Meanwhile, the following are a couple of significant advantages that the FES physiotherapy offers the foot drop patients, along with some of its shortcomings.


  • FES physiotherapy enhances the local foot drop condition with controlled electrical impulses by preventing the pain signals and triggering the affected area for function. 
  • Proper FES physiotherapy effectively improves joint motion, which turns the dragging walk into a more balanced, speedy, and naturally confident walk. 
  • On top of that, FES physiotherapy can relieve muscle spasticity and paralysis and then tremendously strengthen the weak muscles by increasing the blood flow in the injured sites.
  • The FES device is convenient to wear and intelligent to control; for instance, the FES device from Longest has a built-in smart sensor and allows users to control it through its innovative APP, MStim Drop.


  • At the moment when the wires and electrodes come in contact with the skin during the FES physiotherapy procedure, it may cause skin infection.
  • Another issue associated with using FES physiotherapy is that it is not an ideal option for patients with severe foot drop problems to recover mobility. But it can be used to decrease muscle atrophy and spasm.

After evaluating deep insights about both the FES physiotherapy and AFO medical treatments for treating the foot drop problem, it has become easy to conclude. It is evident that FES physiotherapy is undoubtedly more beneficial in the long run while providing a better therapy experience. Not only that the results it produces remarkably favorable to regain the lost mobility, but it also empowers the skeletomuscular activity by quickly amending the deformities caused by the initial injury.


Now it’s time to reveal the bonus tip by recommending you the best physiotherapy manufacturer of all – it’s the one and only “Longest.” Without question, their wide range of high-performance and innovative physiotherapy and rehabilitation products is a reliable choice to improve the quality of life, especially for foot drop problems. 

So, it is a wise decision that you make an intelligent move towards a pain-free lifestyle by prioritizing a better therapy experience with innovative products made by Longest. Feel free to visit their official website and get an instant quote online for further information.

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