Many things can cause foot pain. Most of the time, it’s easy to know the culprit. No one is surprised when they experience aching feet after a workout or standing all day. Other times, it could be someone stubbed their toe or stepped on a toy.
However, what surprises many patients is when they learn their foot pain may be associated with a lower back problem. As the last stop for the spinal nerves, foot pain can be caused by something in the spine.
Potential Feet Symptoms Related to Back Problems
Often, when the spine plays a role in foot problems, it has to do with a pinched, compressed, or irritated nerve. One of the most common is sciatica. This is a symptom of a back problem that results in pain radiating along the sciatic nerve from the leg down to the foot.
Foot symptoms can reveal different types of problems that start in the spine. Here are some of the more common ones.
This is when patients experience weakness in the foot. It causes the foot to feel heavy. Because of this, patients find it challenging to move or flex the foot or flex the ankle. In this case, the source of the problem may be in the spinal nerve root. When the problem lies with the L5 nerve root, the foot problem is usually accompanied by pain radiating down outside of the calf and over the top of the foot to the big toe.
Trouble shifting weight to toes
Patients who have issues with their sciatic nerve’s spinal nerve root struggle to shift the weight forward. In doing so, they experience severe pain. An S1 spinal nerve root problem can make it difficult to walk on tiptoes or raise the heel off the ground. It could potentially make it difficult to walk or drive.
Limited range of motion
A doctor may ask the patient to move the foot up and forward. Except the patient cannot do it or it causes numbness in the leg. Like the other symptoms, this problem tends to originate in the spinal nerve root.
Back Problems That Can Cause Foot Pain
An irritated or compressed spinal nerve root can be the result of multiple problems. Here are some of the possibilities:
One thing to note is to assess whether there is leg pain along with foot pain. It could simply be the problem is local to the foot. Contact a doctor if you’re dealing with these symptoms.
Have a question? Please contact us or call 214-823-2052. We have two conveniently located offices in Addison and Dallas serving patients in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.