So obviously the first thing to do when you are experiencing pain in your foot is to check your foot. It could be a problem with ill fitting shoes, corns, plantar fasciatis, etc. But have you thought of checking your back, specifically your lumbar spine?

You might be surprised to find out that irritation of your sciatic nerve can cause intense foot pain.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body and extends from your lumbar spine down to your foot. Pressure on the nerve in your lumbar spine can cause leg and/or foot pain. Most commonly there is both leg and foot pain, but in some cases foot pain is the only symptom.

The sciatic nerve is made up of two nerve roots – L5 and S1. When the primary nerve involved is S1 you are likely to experience pain on the sole of the foot. When the primary nerve root involved is L5 you may experience and heaviness or even a loss of function of the foot known as foot drop, where you struggle to lift the front part of your foot or it simply slaps the floor as you walk (some of you will remember hearing the noise when John Thaw walked as inspector Morse, he had a foot drop)

Sciatica is commonly caused by Lumbar Disc Herniation, Canal Stenosis, Spondlylolithesis, though there are other less common causes.

So what do you do about your pain? And how do you address the cause?

Most people will start off by getting over the counter pain relief and if that doesn’t work stronger medications from their Doctor.

To address the cause however, in many cases the function of the lumbar spine also needs to be addressed, and this one area a chiropractor can commonly help…

So if you’ve tried everything else and your foot pain is not going…. consider that is may come from your lumbar spine and get help.