Sciatic nerves foot pain
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
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It’s interesting how pain in the foot could be coming from something wrong in the back.
But that’s exactly what happens with lumbar radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the low back.)
Another term for this condition is “sciatica.”
When nerves in the low back become irritated as a result of arthritis, disc bulging, or herniated disc, the pain is felt in the low back and down the back and side of the leg. Usually. But not always. Sometimes the pain is localized to one area in the leg. In fact, some people have actually undergone knee surgery for pain in the knee that originated in the low back!
Foot pain may be a symptom of a low back pinched nerve. The two major nerve roots that supply the foot with the ability to feel and the ability to move are the L5 and S1 nerve roots. And these are the nerves that are many times affected by disc degeneration, bulging, and herniation.
Along with the pain, there may be numbness, tingling, and weakness.
The diagnosis is dependent on a careful history and physical examination. Magnetic resonance imaging may also be helpful. Finally electrical tests are sometimes used to nail this diagnosis down.
One rare situation is "double-crush" syndrome where there is radicular pain from the back combined with peripheral nerve entrapment in the leg. Electrical studies are often useful when this might be a possibility.
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