Nerve root irritation or compression in the lumbar or sacral spine (lower back) may cause sciatica pain to radiate down your leg and into the foot. Specifically, compression of the S1 nerve root, also called classic sciatica, can cause pain along the outer side of your foot.
Nerve roots may be compressed or irritated due to a number of causes. Common examples include:
The inability to lift the front part of your foot or frequent tripping while walking may be due to a condition called foot drop. This condition is typically caused due to compression of the L5 nerve root. Rarely, compression of the L4 and/or S1 nerve roots may also cause foot drop
Foot pain caused by compression of nerves in the hip, knee, or leg
Foot pain can also occur when nerves are compressed or damaged along their path in the hip, knee, or leg. For example:
Additionally, a corn may develop on the skin around your toes. Corns grow over time as a result of excessive friction and they can compress nearby nerves, causing pain and other symptoms. Another possible cause of nerve pain in your foot is Morton’s neuroma, which is a thickening of the tissue around a nerve in the foot.
How to identify the source of your foot pain
With all the possible causes of nerve pain in the foot, it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact underlying cause. Here are a few useful signs to help you identify the source of your foot pain:
Nerve pain in the foot may also occur due to nerve damage from systemic conditions, such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis.
Twisting, bending, or a direct hit on your ankle and/or foot may injure the foot bones, ankle joint, blood vessels, muscles and/or tendons, causing foot pain.
Schedule a visit with your Chiropractor
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3.Davis D, Vasudevan A. Sciatica. [Updated 2019 Feb 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507908/
4.Liu K, Zhu W, Shi J, et al. Foot drop caused by lumbar degenerative disease: clinical features, prognostic factors of surgical outcome and clinical stage. PLoS One. 2013;8(11):e80375. Published 2013 Nov 5. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080375
5.Reife MD, Coulis CM. Peroneal neuropathy misdiagnosed as L5 radiculopathy: a case report. Chiropr Man Therap. 2013;21(1):12. Published 2013 Apr 22. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662609/
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