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Living Active with AFO Braces: Tips, Exercises, and Activities


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Living an active lifestyle is important for everyone, regardless of any challenges we might face. If you or someone you know wears AFO (Ankle-Foot Orthosis) braces, it’s still very possible to lead an active and fulfilling life. AFO braces are designed to provide support and stability to those who may have difficulty with mobility due to conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or other neuromuscular disorders. In this article, we’ll explore some helpful tips, exercises, and activities to make the most out of life with AFO braces.

Choosing the Right Activities

When it comes to being active with AFO braces, choosing the right activities is crucial. Look for exercises and activities that are low-impact and don’t put excessive strain on your legs and feet. Here are some great options to consider:

  1. Swimming: This is an excellent full-body workout that’s gentle on your joints. The buoyancy of the water reduces the impact on your legs, making it an ideal choice.
  2. Cycling: Riding a bicycle is a fantastic way to improve cardiovascular health and leg strength. Just ensure your AFO braces are properly fitted and won’t interfere with pedaling.
  3. Yoga: Yoga focuses on flexibility, balance, and strength, all of which can be beneficial for those with AFO braces. Look for classes or videos that cater to modified poses.
  4. Adaptive Sports: Many sports like wheelchair basketball, adaptive skiing, or wheelchair tennis are inclusive and can be adapted for people with AFO braces.

Exercises for Strength and Flexibility

Incorporating specific exercises into your routine can help improve strength and flexibility, which are vital for anyone using AFO braces. Here are some exercises to consider:

  1. Calf Raises: Stand on a flat surface and lift your heels off the ground, then lower them back down. This helps strengthen your calf muscles, which are important for walking.
  2. Toe Taps: While seated, lift your toes up and down, targeting the muscles in your shins. This exercise helps maintain flexibility in your ankles.
  3. Seated Leg Lifts: While seated, straighten your legs and lift them off the ground. Hold for a few seconds, then lower them back down. This strengthens your thigh muscles.
  4. Balance Exercises: Practice standing on one leg (with support if needed) to improve balance. You can also try using a wobble board or balance pad.

Tips for Comfort and Care

Ensuring your AFO braces fit well and are properly maintained is crucial for a comfortable and active lifestyle. Here are some tips:

  • Regular Check-ups: Visit your orthotist regularly to ensure your braces fit properly and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Proper Cleaning: Clean your AFO braces regularly with mild soap and water, and allow them to air dry. This helps prevent any discomfort or skin issues.
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Choose shoes that provide good support and fit well with your AFO braces. Your orthotist can recommend suitable options.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any discomfort or pain. If something doesn’t feel right, consult your healthcare provider.

Final Thoughts

Living an active life with AFO braces is entirely possible with the right approach. By choosing suitable activities, incorporating targeted exercises, and ensuring proper care, you can enjoy a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle. Remember, with determination and the right support, you can achieve anything!

With questions contact us at : 1.866.746.3552


2023-09-20T14:23:12+00:00By |Categories: AFO Braces / Foot Drop|Tags: , , , , , |