How Back Pain and Foot Pain Are Related

While feet are great for maintaining stability and mobility, people often overlook them until they cause pain.

The human body is an interconnected system. Foot pain can stem from various issues such as ill-fitting shoes, old injuries, and the foot structure or arches. The cause of foot pain could even be coming from your back.

Continue reading to learn how back pain and foot pain are related!

From the Back Down

There are a series of bones, known as the vertebrae, in your spine, which stretches from the base of your skull to your tailbone. Round disks in between each vertebra act as cushions that allow you to bend and move with ease.

If you hurt your spine, the effects can radiate to your feet. Nerve pain to the sciatic nerve is known as sciatica. In addition to pain, it can involve tingling or numbness that may radiate down your leg and to your feet.

Here are possible causes of sciatica.

  • A herniated disk, also known as a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disk, is when one of the disks tears or leaks.
  • Spondylolisthesis is when one of the vertebrae slips out of place onto the vertebra below it.
  • Radiculopathy is caused by a pinched nerve in your spine. More specifically, it happens when one of the nerve roots is compressed or irritated.

From the Feet Up

Just as issues with the spine can cause foot pain, problems with the feet can lead to back pain. In an effort to not experience pain, these conditions can influence the way you move. Yet, this misalignment can put strain on your back.

Here are possible causes of foot pain.

  • A person with flat feet does not have a visible arch when they stand. Either arches didn’t develop or they collapsed later in life.
  • A hammertoe is a joint on the toe that points up instead of lying flat.
  • A bunion typically forms when prolonged pressure on the big toe pushes it toward the second toe. Over time, an extra bone forms at the base of the big toe.
  • Ingrown toenails, in which the corner of the toenail digs into the skin, can also make walking uncomfortable.

Addressing these foot problems often does not require surgery. The solution can be as simple as finding the right pair of shoes. Opt for footwear that has proper arch support and a wide toe box.

For inspiration, take a look at our list of go-to supportive summer shoes and best supportive shoes for fall!

See a Podiatrist at The Foot & Ankle Center

If you’re experiencing pain in your foot or ankle, visit The Foot & Ankle Center! Since 1989, we have been proud to deliver the highest quality of care to patients in a comfortable and convenient setting.

Our board certified podiatrists have the ability to pinpoint the source of your pain and recommend treatment. Request an appointment online or call us at (314) 487-9300 to get started!