How Do You Cut Your Toenails With Cerebral Palsy?

Sep 24, 2018

One of the tougher aspects of having cerebral palsy is the lack of flexibility. Spasticity in the legs can make it really difficult to lean forward and reach your feet. Here’s here’s a couple of ways you can cut your toenails without asking for help.

Sitting on the Floor

Sit on the floor with your back against the sofa or wall. Then, slide your legs as close to your chest as you can while keeping your feet flat against the floor. This should let you easily reach your toes without having to stretch too far.

If you have the flexibility, you can try straightening out one leg, bringing the other foot across. It should look like you’re trying to fold one leg in so you can sit cross‐legged. Most people with CP don’t have that kind of range of motion, but I wanted to make you were aware of your options.

Sitting in a Chair

Sit in a chair with your foot resting on a surface that is taller than the chair. For example, sit in your wheelchair with your foot resting on the bathtub. Lean forward and firmly grip your foot while pushing up to press your knee into your shoulder. This should let you lean past your leg and cut your toenails.

Making it Easier in the Future

You may not need to cut your toenails every day but you do need to stretch every day. When you’re resting or watching TV, take time to sit on the floor and stretch our your hamstrings. If you have to, lay a heavy book across your knees to keep them flat. Over time, your flexibility will improve and it will become easier for you to do things like cut your toe nails.

If hand/grip strength is an issue, I recommend getting a pair of clippers with a large handle.