Sciatic, foot and ankle pain. Connect the dots.
Sciatica is a symptom of the sciatic nerve being compressed. It can be caused by several different things such as disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, fractures, or in the most common case, it can be caused by pregnancy.
Sciatica is often not diagnosed because the pain is attributed to other causes – primarily back pain. The pain from sciatica is typically described as shooting and radiating down one leg.
This post looks at how sciatica can lead to foot and ankle pain, as well as the symptoms and treatments available for both conditions.
After heavy research it is known to be common to experience foot and ankle pain in people with sciatica. Sciatica is a form of nerve pain that can affect the area between the hips and knees. This pain can be experienced as tingling, numbness, or burning sensations.
Sciatica can be difficult for doctors to diagnose as is usually caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down each leg. The pain can be experienced in any area that has nerve endings that may travel through or near your sciatic nerve.
You may feel temporary foot and ankle discomfort if you are standing for long periods of time or have to walk for a long distance. If your sciatica is caused by severe back problems, it could also lead to more serious foot and ankle symptoms such as swelling, muscle spasms, or an inability to walk properly.
Sciatic nerve irritation causes discomfort and often pain. In some cases, it causes numbness in an area of your leg on one side of your body. Sciatica symptoms may worsen when you are sitting for long periods, climbing stairs, or getting out of bed too quickly.
Sciatic pain often starts in one leg but can then extend to both legs, into the buttocks, and down to the feet and toes. Sciatica is triggered by either a trauma or a mechanical problem like a herniated disk, piriformis syndrome, or pelvic congestion syndrome. It can also be caused by swelling of the spinal cord due to an infection such as Lyme disease.
The pain may be stabbing or burning in nature and often radiates down one side of the body from where it originates at the spine. It can cause foot and ankle pain because it can affect the nerves that go to these areas. You may also feel tingling, numbness, or burning sensations as you move around.
There are many other conditions that can cause foot and ankle pain too. In some cases, it might be caused by a fracture or an infection in the foot or ankle joint. One such condition that could potentially cause this type of pain is arthritis.
The compression from sciatica can cause pain in the back of the thigh and buttocks, down through the back of leg and into the heel and foot. In some cases, this pain can be so severe that it causes numbness or weakness to develop in those areas as well. Sciatica can also cause pain radiating to an area behind the knee.
When sciatica affects feet and ankles, it comes from lower back compression of nerves located there. Sciatic nerve irritation in this area may cause tingling sensations between toes or a “pins-and-needles” feeling on both sides of your foot where nerve endings are close to skin surface.
Sciatica is one of the most common pain conditions. Foot and ankle pain are not always the result of sciatica, but it is not unheard of for this type of pain to occur as a symptom. Sciatic nerve interference can cause a significant amount of swelling in the leg, which leads to an increased level of pain when walking or standing.
If you are experiencing symptoms of pain in your feet and calves, as well as numbness or tingling in your legs, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor because these symptoms could be signs that you also have Sciatica.
There are many treatments for sciatica, but they are generally divided into two categories: non-operative treatment and surgical treatment.
Non-operative treatments for sciatica include medications like NSAIDS or opioids, physical therapy, injections, and rest. These treatments are often successful on their own but may need to be continued for long periods of time if the symptoms persist.
Surgery is only recommended when the patient has leg pain that does not respond to non-operative treatment or when there is significant leg numbness or tingling that does not go away with rest or medication.