We've all experienced foot pain before, whether it's from an injury, bad shoes, or something anatomical like a neuroma, bursitis, tendonitis, or arthritis.
In most cases, your foot pain is caused by problems within the foot itself, but in some cases, it may actually be caused by problems in your spine.
- Learn More: Foot Pain Causes and Treatments
If your foot pain is caused by a problem in your spine, you will almost always have leg pain or numbness to go along with it.
- Watch: Sciatica Animated Video
Telltale signs can also include difficulty bringing your foot up or walking on your tip-toes, and/or experiencing foot heaviness or weakness.
Spine dysfunctions associated with foot pain
Any dysfunction in the spine that pinches your spinal nerves in your lower back as a result of a narrowing in your spinal canal (spinal stenosis) may cause leg pain that extends into your feet.
- Herniated discs
- Ligamentum flavum (a strong ligament that connects the liminae of the vertebrae) buckling
- Enlargement of the facet joints caused by facet joint arthritis
Watch: Lumbar Spine Anatomy Video
The type of pain felt depends on where in the spine the dysfunction is occurring. For example, a dysfunction in the L3-L4 segment of the spine may result in pain in the front of the thigh, the front of the knee, the shine, and/or the foot.
Dealing with the underlying cause
If you think your foot pain may be caused by a problem in your spine, ask your primary care physician to consider any of the above spinal dysfunctions. He or she may do an initial medical workup, or they may send you to a spine specialist for further examination.
The good news is there are many non-surgical treatments that may help treat the root of the problem and get you back on your feet again.