Getting Pain We Can Help
If youre experiencing pain in your feet and are worried that its a nerve compression or other problem that originates in your back or somewhere else, we can help. Our experienced podiatry team will work to assess, diagnose and help treat the problem to alleviate your symptoms, and reduce the likelihood of it returning.
Where necessary, well refer you for imaging and involve other health professions to ensure you get the best long-term result.
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How Can Sciatica Cause Foot Pain
Foot pain from sciatic nerve irritation is very common, says David W. Flatt, DC, FACO, a board-certified chiropractic orthopedist at Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group in Winfield, Illinois. It is most common to have pain on the outside of the foot but it could be in other places in the foot, too.
Sciatica is not a specific diagnosis, but a broad term that describes nerve pain. One or more of the sciatic nerves root in the lower spine is being compressed or pinched, usually due to a.
This sciatic nerve originates in the lower back from five nerve roots and ultimately splits to run down both the inside and outside of the leg. Compression or irritation to any of the nerve roots can cause pain in the hip, thigh, calf, and foot, says Flatt.
The location of the foot pain depends upon which nerve root in the spine is affected. If the S1 root is affected, pain will radiate to the sole and lateral foot, says Nicholas Anastasio, MD, a board-certified physician at Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. If L5 is affected, pain will radiate to the top of the foot and great toe. If the L4 root is affected, pain can radiate to the medial ankle.
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Pinpointing The Source Of Your Foot Pain
Its not always easy to tell where foot pain is coming from or if it may be associated with a spine problem or related nerves. Signs that may give you an idea of where the source of your discomfort could be located include: Foot pain that develops following lower back, hip, knee, or ankle traumasuggests the location of the trauma is where a nerve is affected Foot discomfort associated with numbness, weakness, or pain extending to the buttocks, thighs, or legssuggests sciatic nerve or nerve root irritation Foot pain that develops after wearing footwear thats too tightsuggests peroneal/sural nerve irritation Foot pain experienced after hip surgery or an injection in the hip areasuggests a connection to the sciatic nerveThe only way to know for sure whats causing your foot pain is to see your doctor. You may be referred to a specialist or Beverly Hills spine surgeon if theres a need to do nerve conduction studies or other specialized tests. Youll ultimately benefit more from treatment recommendations that address the source of your foot pain, not just your symptoms.
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Back To Foot Pain From Spinal Stenosis
Spinal experts refer to the abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal as Spinal Stenosis. While the majority of affected patients are over the age of 50, degenerative changes can cause younger patients to develop this painful condition. These changes may include trauma, a congenital spinal deformity like scoliosis, or even a genetic disease affecting bone and muscle development. Spinal Stenosis symptoms tend to fluctuate between patients, ranging from mild and manageable pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities from pinched nerves, back to foot pain, and a limited range of mobility. Since symptoms of spinal stenosis are so similar to symptoms of other spinal conditions, it can be difficult to properly diagnose this painful condition. But the NJSS team can deploy advanced imaging tests like an MRI or CT to identify the location of the narrowing spine. To complicate matters even further, spinal stenosis can arise as the result of other conditions such as bone overgrowth, herniated discs, spinal injuries from car accidents, and tumors.
When Your Foot Pain Is Caused By Problems In Your Back
Foot pain may be a telltale sign of an underlying spinal condition.
This article examines what foot pain symptoms are indicators of something back related.
In addition, it gives an overview of common spinal conditions with foot pain symptoms, so that patients have a better idea of what their foot pain involves.
Your spine is like a signal tower, sending messages throughout your body.
When you feel pain in your foot, you may think that the problem is something simple like wearing uncomfortable high heels or standing for long periods of time.
While foot symptoms can be caused by these irritations, often foot pain is a signal of underlying back problems.
Today well go through foot pain symptoms so that you can determine whether you should get checked for a spinal condition.
Well also look at common spinal conditions that cause foot pain.
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Is Your Heel Pain From Problems In The Spine
While the sciatic nerve is a commonly affected nerve, other nerves and problems may also result in heel pain. These include:
- A herniated disc in your lumbar spine: when the contents of one of your intervertebral discs leak or bulge
- Degenerative disc disease: when the effects of ageing cause your intervertebral discs to narrow or shrink
- Spondylolisthesis: when a vertebra slips over the one below it
- Spinal stenosis: when the small bony openings of the spinal nerves narrow
- Ankylosing spondylitis an inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and sacroiliac joints of the lower back. Can cause back pain, as well as referred pain down the legs
How Foot Pain And Your Back Are Related
Feet are great for helping us get around and maintain stability, but they are often the last thing anyone thinks about until they are in pain. Foot pain is caused by many different possible problems, including the structure of the foot, bad arches, improper footwear, and old injuries.
While many doctors are prepared to discuss these common causes, a lesser-known culprit of foot pain may be found in your back. The body is all linked together, but maybe more so than you think.
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Sciatica Causes And Risk Factors
Sciatica results from irritation of the root of your lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.
Additional common causes of sciatica include:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disk disease
- Muscle spasm in the back or buttocks
Other things that may make you more likely to have sciatica include:
- Your job, especially if it involves driving for long periods of time, twisting your back, or carrying heavy things
Spinal Conditions That Cause Pain In Feet
Even if you dont have back pain, you may still have a spine condition that causes you to feel discomfort elsewhere in your body, like your feet.
There are some revealing signs of foot pain caused by a problem in your spine, such as your foot feeling heavy, difficulty raising your foot, leg pain, numbness, weakness, and trouble walking on your tiptoes.
Studies have shown that spinal dysfunction, like a spinal canal narrowing or spinal stenosis, pinches and squeezes on the spinal nerves in your lower back, causing leg pain that radiates down to your feet.
The kind of pain felt depends on the location of the spinal dysfunction. For instance, a problematic L3L4 spinal area would cause pain in the front of the thigh, the frontal area of the knee, the shin, or the foot.
If you suspect your foot pain may be due to a spinal issue, you should discuss the spinal dysfunctions with your physician. After an initial medical checkup, your physician may direct you to a spine specialist who knows how to find for further examination.
So, if youve ever wondered, Can a back problem cause foot pain? The simple answer is yes, spine issues result in feelings of foot pain. Here are some of the specific spinal conditions that can cause feet pain include:
- Herniated Discs
- Facet Joint Arthritis
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When Is Surgery Considered
Spinal surgery is usually not recommended unless you have not improved with other treatment methods such as stretching and medication, your pain is worsening, you have severe weakness in the muscles in your lower extremities or you have lost bladder or bowel control.
How soon surgery would be considered depends on the cause of your sciatica. Surgery is typically considered within a year of ongoing symptoms. Pain that is severe and unrelenting and is preventing you from standing or working and youve been admitted to a hospital would require more aggressive treatment and a shorter timeline to surgery. Loss of bladder or bowel control could require emergency surgery if determined to be cauda equine syndrome.
The goal of spinal surgery for sciatic pain is to remove the pressure on the nerves that are being pinched and to make sure the spine is stable.
Surgical options to relieve sciatica include:
Microdiscectomy: This is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove fragments of a herniated disk that are pressing on a nerve.
- Laminectomy: In this procedure, the lamina that is causing pressure on the sciatic nerve is removed.
Causes Of Sciatic Pain
Sciatica, or sciatic pain, can occur when something pinches your sciatic nerve. One of the most common causes is a herniated disc, which is a spine problem when one of the rubbery discs that cushion the vertebrae bulges out of position. The herniated disc can put pressure on the sciatic nerve to cause symptoms, such as pain. An overgrowth of bone, known as a bone spur, is also a common cause of sciatic pain. Other conditions, such as a tumor or damage caused by diabetes, can cause sciatic pain.
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Types Of Leg Pain That Are Actually Caused By A Back Problem
No doubt about it, your legs endure a lot of stress throughout your life, leading to a general wear and tear that may result in pain. However, not all sources of leg pain are caused by issues related to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage that make up your lower extremities.
Its possible that the electric shock sensation you feel shooting down your leg every time you reposition your body is due to a back problem. At Texas Spine Consultants in Addison and Plano, Texas, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine health and help many people get relief from their leg pain by treating the underlying back problem responsible for the traveling pain sensations.
To save you from unnecessary testing and treatment of your legs, we want to share with you the types of leg pain that are actually caused by a back problem.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica
The symptoms of sciatica include:
- Moderate to severe pain in lower back, buttock and down your leg.
- Numbness or weakness in your lower back, buttock, leg or feet.
- Pain that worsens with movement loss of movement.
- Pins and needles feeling in your legs, toes or feet.
- Loss of bowel and bladder control .
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Is Plantar Fasciitis Related To Knee Pain
It is possible that lumps of calcium on the heel bone will form, known as bone spurs, compounding your pain from plantar fasciitis. If your plantar fascia is weakened, you may also experience additional strain on your ankle and knee.
A doctors visit is the most effective way to obtain the best possible treatment. Foot pain, inflammation, and tenderness near the heel are all hallmark symptoms of plantar fasciitis. A good place to start is with ice therapy and pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen. It can be difficult to alleviate pain by using tight calf muscles and foot muscles. Footpaths and orthopedists can work with plantar fasciitis patients to treat their conditions. Wearing shoes with a slight heel even half an inch to an inch can help relieve plantar fasciitis. Only those who have had symptoms for at least nine months are usually eligible for surgery.
What Does A Spine Look Like
Before we get into foot pain and whats causing it, its important to go over the anatomy of a spine. There are five sections to our spine, and they are:
- Cervical , C1 to C7
- Thoracic , T1 to T12
- Lumbar , L1 to L5
- Sacrum , S1 to S5
Our spine is made up of 33 individual vertebrae, which are all joined together to form the spinal column. The first 24 vertebrae are moveable, and the vertebrae in the sacrum and coccyx are fused. The spinal cord starts at your brainstem and travels down your back before splitting off into each leg.
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Sciatica Symptoms Warning Signs And Tips To Minimize Pain
Sciatica, or pain radiating down your leg and into the ankle and foot, is caused by compression of the nerve roots. In addition to pain on the outer side of the foot, sciatica resulting from S1 nerve root compression may also be accompanied by pain, numbness, and weakness in the leg.
In most cases, sciatica affects one leg and foot at a time however, its possible for sciatica to occur in both legs depending on the location of the compressed nerve. You may also experience foot drop, or the inability to lift the front of your foot, also as a result of compression of the nerve roots.
Sciatica: A Sharp Shooting Pain That Radiates Down The Leg
Sciatica is a pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back down the back of the leg. The pain is often caused by compression of the nerve, which can occur when the spine is compressed or when the nerve is pinched by a muscle in the buttock. The pain is typically felt as a sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the leg. Sciatica can also cause tingling, numbness, or weakness in the leg.
When you have sciatic nerve pain, it can affect any part of your body, from the lower back to your feet. A pains severity and cause will determine what type of treatment is appropriate for that condition. sciatica nerve pain is caused by damage to the sciatic nerve and symptoms include lower back pain and muscle weakness. Over time, a herniated disc causes the body to age naturally, as evidenced by the aging of the discs. The narrowing of your spinal canal can cause severe spinal stenosis in the lower back. It is unclear why Piriformis syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects only a few thousand people. Proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent spondylolisthesis.
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Where Is Sciatic Pain Coming From
- L4 NERVE ROOT DAMAGE A pinched nerve root in the L4 section of the vertebral column usually results in radiating pain in the thigh. This pain can come in the form of numbness, tingling, weakness and shooting. Radiculopathy of the L4 nerve root can also cause this pain to extend into the lower leg, ankle and foot. In addition, patients may experience difficultly moving the foot in an upward motion.
- L5 NERVE ROOT DAMAGE A pinched L5 nerve root usually results in radiating pain in the foot. This pain can come in the form of numbness, tingling, weakness and shooting and is commonly felt in the big toe, inside of the foot, top of the foot and ankle. Radiculopathy of the L5 nerve may also cause loss of coordination in the foot and toes.
- S1 NERVE ROOT DAMAGE: A pinched nerve in the S1 section of the vertebral column usually results in radiating pain down the backside of the leg and into the outside of the foot. This pain can come in the form of numbness, tingling, weakness and shooting. S1 nerve root Radiculopathy may cause pain or numbness in the little toe and top of the foot. Consequently, patients find it difficult to stand on their tip-toes or raise their heel off the ground.
Back To Foot Pain From Spondylolisthesis
When back to foot pain appears after one vertebra slips forward over the vertebrae below, doctors will diagnose patients with Spondylolisthesis. No to be confused with a slipped disc this condition is prevalent in the lumbar spine. Symptoms of lumbar spondylolisthesis may include a combination of soreness in the area of the slippage, tightness or stiffness of the muscles of the lower back, pain in the lower back, thighs, and buttocks, and sciatica. Spondylolisthesis typical affects athletes like weightlifters, football linemen, and gymnasts placing immense stress on the lower region of the spine. As a result, athletes risk developing vertebral stress fractures on the right and left sides of the spine. The formation of vertebral stress fractures may cause instability and bones to shift out of place. The NJSS team can treat patients suffering from Sponylolisthesis with pain medications, heat and/or ice application, physical therapy, and epidural steroid injections to decrease inflammation. In most cases, non-surgical treatment can successfully minimize a patients back to foot pain. However, doctors may recommend surgical intervention when a patients painful symptoms fail to improve.
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Dont Let Heel Pain Ruin Your Summe
PAIN IN THE EEL, BALLS OF THE PEEL, OR THE FRONT OF THE PAIN IS TIME TO GO to THE ER. Osteoarthritis is more likely to occur if you have pain in your arch of the foot. However, you should not give up on getting help. The most common cause of Plantar Fasciitis is a foot condition that can be treated.