Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong, but sometimes that signal is not as straightforward as you might expect. At Divine Spine, we often see cases where foot pain that doesn’t seem directly connected to the spine is in fact the result of lower back problems. When this is the case, it is impossible to effectively eliminate the pain without treating the source.
When a nerve is compressed or irritated in the lower back (the lumbar or sacral spine), pain can radiate down your leg and into your foot. The most well-known example of this is sciatica, which can cause pain on the outer side of the foot. Compression of the nerve can be caused by lumbar subluxation (misaligned vertebrae), a herniated disc, or degenerated discs, as well as spinal stenosis (when bony growths narrow the openings for the spinal cord or nerves). Regardless of the exact cause, if the compression affects the nerves that terminate in your feet, the result can be the same—foot pain. If your foot pain isn’t responding to treatment to the foot itself, a comprehensive examination at Divine Spine may be the key to locating the root of the issue.
The Importance of Treating Foot Pain Promptly
Whenever you take a step, you exert a force on your foot that is approximately 50 percent greater than your body weight. When you’re experiencing pain, it is natural to attempt to minimize it. For those experiencing foot pain, that typically means one of two reactions: reducing physical activity, or altering your stance and stride to attempt to reduce the stress on the affected foot. For example, if the pain is in your heel, you might try to keep it from touching the ground as much as possible while you walk.
While these approaches may produce temporary relief in the short term, both run a serious risk of creating further problems in the spine in the long run. A sedentary lifestyle, particularly when you’re sitting in chairs that don’t adequately support healthy posture, can cause or worsen alignment problems in your spine. Getting up and moving is preferable, but putting more weight on your unaffected foot to compensate for foot pain invariably results in poor posture, which puts unnatural strain on the muscles and ligaments that support your spine and can cause additional misalignment. You may end up feeling pain in your back as well as your foot, reducing your mobility even more.
Thus, if you’re having trouble pinpointing the cause of heel or foot pain, it’s prudent to consider if your back might be playing a role. When not effectively treated, misunderstood chronic foot pain stemming from a spinal problem can create new back issues, setting off a vicious cycle.
How We Can Help
Problems that originate in the spine can manifest as pain in other areas of the body, but without locating and correcting the source of the problem, you won’t achieve lasting relief. Tingling, numbness, and/or weakness are also signs that a nerve problem may be behind your condition. Every consultation at Divine Spine starts with a comprehensive examination, including digital X-rays if necessary. Your doctor’s report will pinpoint any spine issues you’re experiencing to create an individualized treatment plan to correct them. Our goal isn’t merely to relieve your symptoms but to address the root problem through treatment. In addition, we give you the tools, through stretches and exercises, to achieve lasting stability and alignment.
At Divine Spine, our treatment uses a state-of-the-art Electronic Vertebral Alignment (EVA) system to perform precisely, targeted adjustments. Our treatment is gentle and comfortable, without any popping, twisting, or sudden movements, making it ideal for patients who understand the benefits of chiropractic care but have been reluctant to try it due to fear of pain during treatment. We serve patients of all ages and have been able to provide relief for problems from sinus pain and migraines to carpal tunnel syndrome and more. To schedule an appointment for evaluation, contact us here today.