Are Heel Pain & Back Pain Related?
August 6, 2021
The heels and our back seem miles apart, so could there be a relationship between the two? According to studies, there is, with up to 75% of people with ongoing heel pain being shown to have unmanaged low back pain or low back dysfunction. As podiatrists, this tells us that if our heel pain isn’t resolving, we should also look at the nerve pathway between the lower back, down the leg and to the feet. To help you better understand the connection between the two and what it means, today we’re talking about the back problems that can lead to heel pain at the bottom of your foot. If you have any questions, feel free to send them to us via our Facebook page – we are highly experienced in heel pain and love helping Remuera & Auckland residents get rid of their heel pain.
Is your heel pain from sciatica?A well-documented cause of heel pain that starts in the back is from sciatica. Sciatica refers to the compression of the sciatic nerve which starts in your lower back. Damage or irritation can radiate symptoms all the way down to the feet, through the hips, buttocks and legs. If you have sciatica, you may also notice tingling, numbness, burning around your heel. The pain may be dull or achy, or may shoot up the leg depending on the way you stand. You may also notice slower reflexes or muscle spasms.
Is your heel pain from problems in the spine?While the sciatic nerve is a commonly affected nerve, other nerves and problems may also result in heel pain. These include:
- A herniated disc in your lumbar spine: when the contents of one of your intervertebral discs leak or bulge
- Degenerative disc disease: when the effects of ageing cause your intervertebral discs to narrow or shrink
- Spondylolisthesis: when a vertebra slips over the one below it
- Spinal stenosis: when the small bony openings of the spinal nerves narrow
- Ankylosing spondylitis – an inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and sacroiliac joints of the lower back. Can cause back pain, as well as referred pain down the legs