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Have a tough time moving your feet or legs? Perhaps you’re suffering from neurological or muscular issues, which invite conditions like foot drop, resulting in affected legs movement. As a result, some people drag their feet while walking.
If left untreated, results include permanent immobility, chronic pain, and other life-threatening issues. A reliable solution is to wear a walkaide. Many doctors recommend walkaide for footdrop patients. Let’s look at what a walkaide is and how it functions.
What’s A Walkaide and What Does It Cure?
Walkaide is a functional electronic stimulation (FES) device to help patients facing walking issues due to foot drop.
Footdrop is caused due to:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Brain Injury
  • Nerve Damage

Leaving these problems untreated can introduce a severe foot drop. Therefore, visiting the nearest Orthopedic surgeons is highly advisable. They’ll teach the problem’s severity and how to handle it. 
Walkaide FES System Working ExplainedPatients should wear a walkaide device under the knee in the calf region. It uses sensor technology to analyze leg and foot movements and create a unique stimulation pattern for the patient.
It then sends Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) signal to the peroneal nerve, responsible for supplying sensation to the feet, legs, and toes. Such stimulation helps activate Tibialis Anterior (the muscle that helps lift the foot). Hence, your foot will function normally. 
5 Benefits of Using A Walkaide
Before purchasing a walkaide, let’s look at some of its advantages.
1. Wireless Connectivity
A walkaide device is wireless that helps the patient walk freely without tangling wires. It’s battery-operated, so you need to charge it before using it. 
2. Easy Operation
There’s no need to have technical knowledge or skills to use a walkaide. It’s compact, and anyone, be it a child or a senior citizen, can use it without help.
3. No Switch Required
Walkaide uses tilt sensors that signal your brain, which is needed to move. There’s no switch requirement as the patient can move freely without issues. 
4. Ensures Fast Walking Without Fatigue
Patients will notice a vast difference in walking before and after wearing a walkaide. Their movement will be better controlled to help them walk comfortably. They’ll be able to walk faster without getting tired after wearing walkaide.
5. Comfortable and Discreet
A walkaide is comfortable to wear. It won’t irritate the legs allowing patients to walk miles with it. The compact size means anyone can be easily concealed. 
Modes of Walkaide for Rehab
1. Tilt Mode
The patient can increase their sensorimotor abilities through tilt mode. It helps enhance the swinging power of legs and feet. Hence, you’ll notice an improved walking pace. 
2. Hand Mode
TheIn the hand mode, your hand mode enables shifting weight between extensor and flexor tones. Also, during initial gait training, you can learn to control your stepping and swing reflections. 
3. Heel Mode
The sudden weight transfer between the muscles while sitting and standing is painful for patients suffering from foot drop. The heel mode helps train your legs to function smoothly during such activities. Try walking in parallel bars to improve your motor skills.
4. Exercise Mode
You can gain muscle strength through exercise mode. Also, it’ll help improve blood circulation in your legs. Use this mode during home exercises for quick improvement. 
Difference Between Aalkaide and AFO
Both AFO and walkaide help solve immobility in the leg or foot of a patient. Still, there’s a massive difference between the two devices, which we’ll cover below. 
Area Of Use
A walkaide is used under the knees over the calf. It sends electrical signals to the nervous system that helps improve the movement of and legs. 
AFO (Ankle-Foot Orthosis) is worn on the ankle area. It comes in a unique L-shaped design, whose braces are available in a Swedish brace, carbon fiber brace, a plastic brace, and more. 
Walkaide & AFO During Gait Cycle
During the Gait cycle (when one foot comes in contact with the ground periodically), the walkaide uses an electric stimulus to relieve your foot in case of foot drop.
AFO doesn’t use the FES system to work. It supports the foot during the gait cycle and prevents it from dragging.
Final Thoughts
A walkaide is a blessing for footdrop patients or any other issues that cause immobility in the legs or foot. A person should seek immediate medical help if facing any walking issues.
Walking issues can also occur in children, but that doesn’t stop in their lives or restrict them from doing daily tasks. Equipment like walkaide eases their lives as much as possible. 
Consult your physician before buying a device. If you’re unsatisfied with a walkaide, use an AFO. Learn more about AFOs on the blog here.