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Can Foot Pain Be Caused By A Spine Problem?

Sep 8, 2021

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If you think about it, our feet 🦶 have quite a big role in our lives. Not only do they bear the entire weight of your body 🚶‍♀️, but they can also take quite a beating when we try to fit them into ill-fitting fashionable shoes 👠, when we run 🏃‍♂️, walk, or when we cycle 🚵‍♂️ long distances.

While foot pain often comes down to injury, overuse, or tendonitis, it can also often be caused by problems with your spine 🤔. These include herniated or ‘slipped’ discs, sciatica, and spinal stenosis. We’ll get into the technicalities of these conditions shortly, but first, let’s learn the basics about our spine.


What You Need To Know About Your Spine


While everyone’s spine is different, they are all comprised of 24 individual bones, called vertebrae. The first 7 vertebrae are in your neck; the next 12 are in the middle of your back, then 5 make up your lower back, and then comes your sacrum and coccyx (or your tailbone, as you may know it).

Inside your spinal column is your spinal cord. It is around 45 centimetres long and is around the same thickness as your thumb 👍. It starts at the bottom of your brain 🧠 and ends in your lower back. It then splits into a bundle of nerve roots and then branches off into the nerves that travels along the legs 🦵 and into the feet 🦶. If these nerves are compromised, you can imagine why your feet would be sore.


What Foot Pain Feels Like When It’s Caused By Your Spine


The most revealing signs that your foot pain is caused by a problem in your spine include your feet 🦶 feeling heavy, difficulty raising your foot, leg pain, numbness, weakness, and difficulty walking on your tiptoes. At Inspired Health, we have found that spinal dysfunction, like a narrowing of a spinal spaces, disc herniations, or a pinched nerve in your lower back can cause pain that radiates down to your feet.


Sciatica Could Be Causing Your Foot Pain


If you have pain in your lower back as well as in your feet and legs, you may be suffering from sciatica. This is when the sciatic nerve, mentioned above, is pinched, or compressed. The pressure on the sciatic nerve results in pain radiating from the lower back into your legs and feet.


Could You Have A Herniated Disc?


The cushions between your vertebrae are also referred to as discs. They give your spine flexibility and act as a shock absorber, protecting your vertebrae from pressing on one another. A herniated (or slipped) disc occurs when the soft centre in the disc, which is filled with fluid, pushes out through the tough exterior  and puts pressure on the nerves. One of the symptoms of a disc herniation can be foot pain.


Lower Back Spinal Stenosis Could Be The Problem


Spinal stenosis is when the nerves in your lower back are compressed because of a narrowing of the canal that houses your spinal cord or nerves. The pressure on your spinal cord can lead to referred foot pain symptoms like weakness and numbness as well as a tingling sensation. Often this would be in both feet. B12 deficiency and diabetes can also be connected to these types of foot symptoms so should be ruled out too.

If you are experiencing foot 🦶🤕 pain that you believe could be the result of a spinal problem, call us on 01245 699152 or click book a consultation.

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