Herniated disc foot pain is an occasional symptom of lumbar or lumbosacral disc herniations, which might negatively influence the nerve roots that eventually form the sciatic nerve. Foot pain and associated neurological effects are very often blamed on a bulging disc in the lower back, but there are many other possible explanations for this expressed symptomology. It is crucial to achieve a correct diagnosis of the source condition if the patient is to have any hope of enjoying successful treatment. We all know that permanent cures for any lower back or sciatica symptoms are extremely elusive in the dorsopathy treatment sector.
This article will discuss why foot pain may occur in relation to a herniated lumbar disc. We will also provide facts on other possible causative mechanisms which may enact foot discomfort when a disc pathology is purely coincidental.
Herniated Disc Foot Pain Conditions
Foot pain may occur alone or in combination with many other possible symptoms including lower back pain, buttocks pain and leg pain, as well as a variety of neurological symptoms including weakness, numbness or tingling in the back, buttocks, leg or feet.
Most foot pain syndromes are blamed on a herniated disc at L3/L4, L4/L5 or L5/S1, depending on the exact location and nature of the pain. Three lumbar nerve roots, including L4, L5 and S1, innervate different parts of the foot anatomy. Symptoms presented in the foot should always correlate to the suspected anatomical root, if the diagnosis is to be deemed correct.
Other commonly diagnosed spinal causes of foot pain include osteoarthritis, scoliosis or spondylolisthesis enacting spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis. There are also a tremendous number of non-spinal causations, including muscular issues, diabetic neuropathy and regional ischemia.
Research suggests that the majority of chronic and treatment-resistant foot pain conditions linked to a herniated disc are misdiagnosed. It is vital to consider the proven fact that most lumbar herniations do not cause any pain, and even when they do, symptoms will typically diminish or end rather quickly.
Foot Pain Caused by a Bulging Disc
The good news is that most actual structural issues leading to herniated disc foot pain can usually be resolved with appropriate treatment. Whether a patient uses conservative or surgical modalities to treat the herniated disc, a cure should come about in the allotted time frame.
For patients who do not find lasting relief, despite a number of attempted therapy options, the best course of action may be to reconsider the diagnostic theory, as it is likely to be invalid.
In some of these cases, ischemia may be a less often considered, but more logical, answer as to why the pain has not responded. This is the same type of pain which ravaged me for years, so I know how it can be easily misidentified as coming from a lumbar herniated disc. However, patients should always be evaluated for other possible structural causations, as well. For example, cervical spinal stenosis can be the actual cause of sciatica sufferings, with coincidental lumbar disc abnormalities commonly and mistakenly taking the blame.
Herniated Disc Foot Pain Synopsis
If you foot pain, tingling, numbness or weakness has been blamed on a herniated disc in the lower back, be very carefully. Misdiagnosis is rampant and you might just wind up in long-term treatment for nothing, or worse yet, having unnecessary surgery. It is crucial to match the diagnosis to the actual symptoms and look for any holes in the diagnostic theory. In my experience, most patients with a herniated disc and foot pain do seem to present symptoms which seem appropriate for the diagnosed cause on first observation.
However, upon more detailed study, which may be rarely performed by a treating physician, the actual symptoms are far too numerous and widespread to be the result of a single herniation. This is in addition to the basic fact that most herniated discs are not symptomatic at all, anyway. If the disc symptoms do not match, the diagnosis is likely to be wrong. In this case, the reason why treatments fail time and time again is obvious.
Consult with your neurologist for more information of proper diagnostic procedures for foot pain and sciatica syndromes.