Is My Foot Pain Linked To My Spine Health?

Foot pain can occur from wearing improper footwear, injury, or preexisting medical conditions. However, it may come as a surprise to some that their foot pain does not originate in their feet, but their back. Spinal problems can be a direct contributor to this type of pain.

The Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve begins near the base of the spine and travels through the hips and legs before ending in the feet. It is the largest nerve in the body and helps to control the muscles of the leg.  

When a nerve in the lower back becomes compressed or inflamed, this causes pain to travel down the sciatic nerve and into the foot resulting in what is known as sciatica. Patients experiencing sciatic pain will often report feelings of numbness, tingling, or weakness. 

Generally, foot pain is coupled with lower back pain. However, even though patients may not report lower back pain, their foot pain may originate from this area. 

Causes of Sciatic Pain

Herniated Disc

Your lower back is constantly moving and bears much weight throughout your life. This makes it more vulnerable to injury. 

The vertebrae in the spine are cushioned by soft and small discs. If these discs are injured, they may bulge abnormally. When this occurs, the bulge can put pressure on surrounding nerves and nerve roots, causing pain and discomfort. 

This injury can result from being overweight or performing repetitive movements. It becomes increasingly common as patients get older and the spinal discs begin to dry out. 

Spinal decompression may help to decrease the pain felt by herniated discs. Talk to your doctor to see if this is a suitable plan of treatment for you.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is when the spaces in your spinal canal begin to narrow. This puts pressure on the nerves that travel through the spinal canal, resulting in pain and discomfort. It’s generally caused by wear and tear inflicted on the spine over the years.

Symptoms of Foot Pain from Spine Health

Leg pain and numbness normally point to a problem in the lumbar region of your spine. Depending on the issue, your symptoms may consist of the following

  • Heel Walk: The patient will be unable to bring their foot upward. They may also experience numbness in their lower extremities. This symptom is common to patients experiencing sciatic pain.
  • Foot Drop: This symptom occurs when a nerve root in the lower back is affected. Foot drop is characterized by the patient being unable to easily flex their ankle. It is challenging to raise the front of the foot. They may also experience pain down the length of their calf muscle and over their foot, including their big toe.

Spine Health and Wellness Can Help

If you think that your foot pain may be a result of spinal problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Spine Health and Wellness offers an expert team of doctors and chiropractic therapists ready to assist you. 

We’ll diagnose the cause of your pain, and work on a treatment plan to help you start feeling like your old self. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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