By age 20, 80% of people have experienced some type of foot problem, and by age 40 that percentage is nearly 100.[i] Typically, foot pain comes from an injury, a physical issue such as arthritis, or ill-fitting shoes. However, many types of foot pain have little to do with the foot or leg, but rather are related to problems in the lower back (possible spinal subluxation). If you are experiencing symptoms in your foot such as a heavy sensation, difficulty raising your foot up, leg pain, numbness, weakness or difficulty walking on your tiptoes, then your foot pain may be linked to problems in your spine. The source of your pain must be determined and treated by a professional so as to prevent further deterioration and chronicity.
Your spine is connected to your foot through a collection of nerves. Nerve branches in your heel are rooted all the way up in your lower back. This explains how foot pain may be linked to spinal issues. Foot heaviness or weakness may make it difficult to flex the ankle and bring the front of the foot up. This pain often originates from a spinal nerve root in the lower back. A restricted ability to bring the foot upward may be a sign that the sciatic nerve is affected. Difficulty walking on your tiptoes, or pain in the bottom of your foot, can occur if the spinal nerve root is affected.[ii]
Spinal dysfunction, such as the narrowing of the spinal canal or spinal stenosis, pinches the spinal nerves in your lower back causing leg pain to radiate down to your feet. Such spinal dysfunctions include herniated discs, sciatica, spondylolisthesis, and facet joint arthritis.[iii] A lumbar herniated disk is a ruptured disk in your lower back that can cause severe pain, numbness, and weakness. Sciatica results from the compression of the lumbar spinal nerves which creates a radiating pain often on one side of your body; it’s often the result of a herniated disk.[iv] Degenerative spondylolisthesis is a lower back condition commonly found in people 65 and up. As we age, our spinal bones, joints, and ligaments become weakened. If this causes a vertebra to slip, the spine segment becomes compromised and creates a pinched nerve that will radiate pain down the leg and into the foot. Facet joint arthritis is joint inflammation and the formation of small bony growths on facet joints and around the vertebrae. These bone spurs enlarge and entrap nerves that pass through the spinal structure, again causing pain to radiate down from spine to foot.
It’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a spine specialist to find the specific potential lower back condition that may be causing your foot pain. At Divine Spine Yorba Linda, we want to help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your foot pain. We don’t just treat symptoms; we strive to find the root cause of your pain through a comprehensive exam process. We then use an Electronic Vertebral Alignment (EVA) system to treat pain. Our EVA treatment is a non-invasive procedure consisting of a precise directed movement to help relieve pain and discomfort and restore range of motion in the spine.
Your feet have a big job; they carry you through each day. Don’t ignore foot pain; it may be the sign of a serious back problem. Make an appointment at Divine Spine Yorba Linda so that one of our friendly, professional spine specialists can help get to the root of your foot pain.
Dr. Sawhney has a Chiropractic Doctorate and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. A traumatic personal struggle with vertigo, finally led him to Dr. Gauba, the founder of Divine Spine, who helped uncover the root cause of the problem – spinal issues. After corrective care of his spine, his symptoms went away, without the need for potentially dangerous surgeries. Now, his passion is to help people achieve optimal health through non-invasive spinal corrections.
Divine Spine serves the communities of Orange County – Yorba Linda, Brea, Fullerton, Anaheim Hills, Placentia, Orange, Tustin, Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach – and, Chino Hills, Corona, Ontario, and the Inland Empire.