How sciatica and foot pain can be related

It may not seem likely that sciatica — which originates in the lower back — and foot pain would be related, but it is a commonly experienced symptom of this condition. If you are dealing with sciatica-like symptoms in the lower body along with foot pain, it can be helpful to learn more about the potential connection. The following information can give you a better understanding of this condition, helping you to better work with your doctor to find the treatment you deserve.

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve begins near the base of the spine and extends downward through the lower extremities, traveling through the hips, buttocks and legs before coming to an end in the feet near the toes.

This nerve is so important because it sends sensory and motor information to so much of the lower body, allowing for basic movement like walking and sitting. The set of symptoms known as sciatica can develop if this nerve becomes constricted, inflamed or compressed in the lumbar spine due to a number of degenerative spine conditions that develop in the lower back. These can include degenerative disc disease or arthritis.

When the lumbar spine begins to deteriorate and weaken with age, it can impact the sciatic nerve and lead to sciatica symptoms, which can include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Slower reflexes
  • Muscle spasms

These symptoms can travel the length of the sciatic nerve, affecting the hips, buttocks, legs and feet. That is why a compressed sciatic nerve in your lower back may be responsible for the pain and symptoms you are experiencing in your foot.

Treatment

Treatment of foot pain potentially related to sciatica is dependent on first identifying the source of the problem. Any number of degenerative spine conditions can lead to the compression of the sciatic nerve, including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Once the sciatica symptoms origin is diagnosed by your doctor, a series of conservative treatment options may be recommended. Often, a combination of therapies like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, low-impact exercises and stretching techniques can sufficiently manage the problem.

If, however, your foot pain and other symptoms do not subside after several weeks or months, your doctor may recommend spine surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery to help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. These minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures offer patients several benefits over traditional open back surgery, such as a shorter recovery time^ and lower complication rate.

To learn more, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can review your MRI report or CT scan at no cost* and help you determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.

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