Is Your Foot Pain Caused By A Spine Problem?

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If you’re suffering from persistent foot pain, it’s only natural to assume that the pain is stemming from your foot. But, pain can travel, leading to misleading symptoms that don’t obviously indicate the problem at hand. 

While this idea relates to many different locations of pain, in this article, we’ll focus on foot pain caused by spinal problems. 

Can Spinal Problems Cause Foot Pain?

In short, yes. Certain spinal problems can lead to foot pain. However, this pain will likely be different from foot pain caused by foot injuries and conditions. 

Foot pain caused by spinal problems may be described as:

  • A sensation of the foot being heavy
  • Difficulty picking up your foot
  • Pain that radiates from the back down the legs and into the foot
  • Numbness, weakness, and/or tingling in the foot
  • Difficulty walking on tiptoes

Which Spinal Conditions Can Cause Foot Pain?

Not all back problems are likely to trigger foot pain. However, certain spinal conditions can lead to this symptom, including:

Herniated Disc

When one of the discs located between the vertebrae of the spine becomes damaged, it’s known as a herniated disc. A herniated disc can press on nearby spinal nerves, potentially causing pain that radiates to the foot. 

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

Degenerative spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra of the spine slips out of its normal position due to age-related wear and tear. The displaced vertebra can, like a damaged disc, press on spinal nerves and cause radiating pain. 


Sciatica refers to pain that travels along the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the hips, down the backs of both legs, and into the feet. Whether caused by a herniated disc, bone spurs, or another spinal condition, sciatica may lead to foot pain. 

At Hernando Orthopaedic, we provide comprehensive care for spinal conditions and diseases. If you suspect that your foot pain is rooted in a spinal condition, schedule an appointment at our clinic today!