Sciatica foot pain is one of the most common symptoms of this neurological back and leg pain syndrome. Some patients have pain throughout the lower back, buttocks, legs and into the foot or feet. Other patients have pain in some of these areas, but not others, while a few sufferers really only have considerable and regular pain in the feet.
Foot pain can be related to sciatica in many cases, but can also be an unrelated and coincidental symptom, making an accurate diagnosis that much harder to achieve. This should be no surprise, since so many patients receive incorrect diagnoses when it comes to lower body radiculopathy conditions.
This treatise will provide some objective facts
about foot pain which may be a component of sciatica, as well as foot
pain which may be an independent expression of some localized concern.
Foot pain which is theorized to be unrelated to back pain is generally diagnosed as some structural concern with the foot anatomy itself. Plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and heel spurs are the most common diagnostic conclusions, although these stand a fair chance statistically of being wrong theories.
So many patients are actually suffering from some non-structural causative process, like regional ischemia, focused in the foot anatomy. Meanwhile others may simply have repetitive strain disorder or a variety of soft tissue conditions, such as tendonitis, to blame for their symptoms.
Foot pain which is related to back issues may involve the spinal nerve roots at L4, L5 or S1, depending on where the symptoms present themselves. Diagnosis of these pain conditions is made by physical exam to identify neurological deficiencies, such as foot drop, and confirmed by advanced imaging study, such as MRI.
Remember that the feet are completely innervated by the sciatic nerve structure, so any spinal or nonspinal problem which influences this nerve will likely affect the sensory perception and/or motor ability of the feet, as well.
If the diagnosis is correct, then subsequent treatments should have a good chance of alleviating the pain. However, as any chronic foot pain sufferers already knows, most of these painful complaints seem to defy reason and logic by eluding even the most appropriate treatment barrage. This occurrence is not usually due to the inherent ineffectiveness of the therapies themselves in most cases, but instead is caused by a fundamental problem with the diagnostic conclusion.
In my experience, the number one problem in the sciatica treatment industry is certainly misdiagnosis. Remember, if the suspected source process is wrongly identified, then any therapy modality will be off target and fail miserably.
However, even assuming the diagnosis is sound and accurate, the treatments may fail to provide lasting relief because they might be of a completely symptomatic nature. Basically, these types of care are never designed to provide a cure. They merely act on the symptoms of the condition, making life more bearable, while the root causation remains completely unaddressed.
Sciatica can be the result of an acute injury or a gradual degenerative process in the spine. However, most of these types of pain will resolve in a matter of weeks, with or without medical care. The theory that most spinal abnormalities cause long-term pain, which may last for years or even decades, while simultaneously defying all attempts at treatment, is illogical and ridiculous in most instances. However, this is the exact diagnosis made in countless millions of patients each year, despite recommendations against this type of speculation by major medical associations.
It is the same iatrogenic mess which cost me decades of the best years of my life, spent suffering with misdiagnosed back pain.
I was one of the lucky few who broke the cycle and found some relief, even after all those wasted years. Lucky for me, I discovered how knowledge therapy gets to the underlying source of mindbody back and leg pain and can cure these issues without any risk or financial expense.
If your foot pain defies treatment, please do yourself a favor and research the theorized diagnosis. You might just find, as millions of others have, that the basic idea of what was thought to be causing your pain may be flawed from the get-go. Enlisting the help of a an objective spinal neurologist and podiatrist may help.