How a Compressed Nerve in Your Spine can Cause Pain in Your Foot
Nerve roots are the part of a nerve that leaves the spine. When these nerve roots become compressed, this can cause pain that radiates from your spine and then travels down your legs and to your feet.
Here are some of the most common causes of foot pain and how you can tell what is causing it.
Foot Pain Caused By Spinal Problems
Sciatica pain occurs when a nerve root is irritated or compressed and pain travels all the way down the leg and into the foot. When this occurs with the S1 nerve root, it is called classic sciatica and presents as a pain running along the side of the foot.
There are many reasons a nerve root can become compressed, here are a few of the most common ones:
- Lumbar herniated disc: This occurs when the inner contents of an intervertebral disc leak.
- Lumbar degenerative disc disease: This is when the disc shrinks due to the narrowing of age.
- Spondylolisthesis: When one vertebra slips over the one below it.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis: When the openings for spinal nerves and spinal cord become too narrow
- Foot drop: When you can’t lift the front part of the foot due to spinal nerve compression.
Compressed Nerves in the Hip, Knee, and Leg Can Cause Foot Pain Too
Compressed or damaged nerves anywhere between the spine and your feet may cause foot pain. Some of these include:
- Peroneal neuropathy: This is a condition in which the peroneal nerve is compressed or damaged near the knee. This can be a cause of foot drop.
- Sciatic neuropathy: Damage to the sciatic nerve in the hip area can lead to foot pain that runs along the top of the foot and may even cause weakness.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome: This is a dysfunction of the tibial nerve that can cause a sharp or shooting pain to run through the ankle as well as along the sole of the foot.
- Sural nerve entrapment: When the leg or ankle area experiences shooting pain in the outer side of the ankle or foot.
- Morton’s neuroma: This is a thickening of tissue around a nerve which can cause nerve pain in the foot.
- Corns: Corns can develop and actually compress nerves, also causing nerve pain in the feet.
How To Know What is Causing Your Foot Pain
As you can see, many things can be the source of nerve pain in your foot- so how do you know which one is actually causing your specific problem?
- Chronic systemic conditions: Diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis may damage nerves and be a source of foot pain.
- Injury: An actual injury to the foot itself, such as a bruise, sprain or broken bone could be the source of trouble.
- Recent trauma or accident: Foot pain that begins soon after trauma involving the lower back, hips, knees, or ankles may mean there is nerve damage associated with the trauma.
- Nerve root compression: Called sciatica, this can be associated with many problems, including pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower extremities.
- Sural nerve compression: when tight shoes cause extended pain, this can mean peroneal or sural nerve compression near or around the knee or ankle area.
- Sciatic neuropathy: This is often indicated by foot pain that starts after a hip injection or hip surgery.
Visit A Chiropractor in Duluth
If you are experiencing foot pain that you believe may be originating from a compressed nerve or other nerve problem, it is time to schedule a visit with a professional who can help get you out of pain. Visit North Atlanta Chiropractic Center to schedule a free consultation today!