Your Pain May Be Pseudogout
While ankle pain caused by gout can be a highly painful and irritating experience, it’s important to remember that unless diagnosed by a doctor, it may not be gout at all. There’s another condition that prompts gout-like symptoms without being gout itself: Pseudogout. While gout pain is prompted by the build-up of uric acid crystals, pseudogout is caused by excess calcium pyrophosphate , WebMD explains. This buildup of CPP can then create crystal formations in the joints, like gout, and cause similar symptoms.
Mercifully, though, pseudogout usually results in less severe pain than true gout. It may be less predictable than gout, however, mainly because it can be tricky to determine exactly why people get CPP buildups sometimes. CPP release may be determined by your cartilage and could be prompted by cartilage damage from an injury. Pseudogout is generally more likely to occur in older adults, particularly people more than 60 years of age. Luckily, though, it is treatable with anti-inflammatory medication or anti-gout drugs like colchicine. Your doctor may also prescribe steroids or deliver steroid injections to help bring the inflammation down.
Weight Loss/toning Shoes And Back Pain
Paying attention to your footwear can help to prevent back pain caused by shoes, but which shoes are the main culprits of back pain in the first place?
First on our list is perhaps the most problematic and the least known about: figure-fixing shoes.
Toning shoes are designed with little mini pods on the soles that are similar to wobble boards. These mimic walking on an unstable surface and the aim of this is to make you work muscles in the legs that wouldnt normally be used when walking. However, the unusual sole of this shoe results in the abnormal distribution of body weight which, in turn, can lead to strain in the Achilles tendons, as well as injuries in the ankle, knee and back.
Toning shoes may also have a curved sole, which is again designed to make you use extra leg muscles when walking. These can also cause a change to walking posture, thus resulting in back pain. Without a flat sole on the shoe, there is also an increased likelihood of falls.
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How Does Numbness In Your Leg And Foot Relate To Your Back
If you are experiencing numbness in your foot or leg, it may be time to see a back doctor. In fact, hip pain, numbness in your leg and foot, or general tingling in those areas may be a sign of problems that are treatable in many cases.
Lets take a look at how the nerves in your back can affect your feet and legs, and at a few conditions that may cause numbness or tingling in your leg and foot. Then, well discuss some of the best ways to treat those sensations.
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Foot Pain Causes And Treatments
As stated earlier, lower back conditions may prompt a series of symptoms that produce foot pain, usually associated with leg pain .
To understand how lower back conditions may be the source of pain in the foot, one needs to learn about the largest single nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve.
Which Treatments Have You Already Tried
There are several ways to manage sciatica without surgery, depending on the cause. They may include pain relief medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, aquatic therapy, meditation and nerve blocks, among others. What works for one person may not be as effective for someone else.
There are several types of doctors who treat sciatica pain. If you feel like you have exhausted your options with your primary care physician, consider making an appointment with a rehabilitation physician or a pain medicine specialist before calling a surgeon. Because every person experiences pain differently, it often takes working with the right specialist to find the combination of treatments that works for you.
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What Are Some Nonsurgical Sciatica Treatments
Most patients with sciatica symptoms or lumbar radiculopathy improve over time and respond well to non-surgical treatments, such as medication, and special sciatica stretches, and . Spinal manipulation, such as chiropractic care, also can help reduce sciatica symptoms. In most cases, sciatica gets better in 4 to 6 weeks.
Standard treatments for sciatica include PT, exercise, avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms, as well as OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , Dr. Wang says. If that doesnt work and the pain is acute, the next step is usually injection of an epidural steroid injection or a nerve root block.
In some cases, a short course of oral steroids may be considered before trying steroid injections. Under a doctor or healthcare providers advice, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help reduce swelling and sciatic pain. There are many types of OTC medication, such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen , or naproxen .
What Are The Treatments For Flat Feet
The treatment for fallen arches depends on the cause and severity of the condition. If it isnt causing pain or other problems, the doctor may elect to do nothing.
However, if there is pain or mobility issues present, treatments may include bracing, prescribing NSAIDs for pain and inflammation, and even surgery in some cases of torn tendons or broken bones. An increasingly popular treatment for fallen arches is chiropractic care. This natural, non-invasive therapy treats the whole body so that it addresses the cause of the condition as well as associated risk factors and helps patients manage the pain, greatly improving their quality of life.
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What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.
Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:
- Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
- Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
- Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.
Fever With Your Pain Might Mean Gout
Ankle pain may be localized, and the ache you feel might be your only symptom. But if it’s also accompanied by symptoms that affect other parts of your body, it may be more likely to be prompted by gout. One of these symptoms is a generalized fever, as Arthritis-Health discusses. This usually occurs when a gout attack is especially bad and affects multiple joints in the body at once, creating higher levels of inflammation that then result in a rise in body temperature. Alongside your fever could be other symptoms that you may not commonly associate with gout, like general malaise or a crummy, sick feeling.
It’s important to remember, though, that fever may not necessarily indicate the presence of gout on its own, and if you have more of a dull ache or general issues with mobility, both the fever and pain may be caused by another form of arthritis. The best thing to do is to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. While it may be hard to discern that your fever is directly caused by a gout attack, it may indicate the presence of gout and open up avenues for further treatment.
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Kidney Stones Might Accompany Your Pain
If you’ve had a gout attack, you’ll know that you have enough on your plate to deal with, what with that frankly wild pain and all. But having kidney stones to contend with too? Sometimes, life really is unfair. The presence of kidney stones, however, can be a clear sign that your ankle pain isn’t muscular or due to another cause — it is likely prompted by gout. The same uric acid that creates painful crystals in your joints, prompting gout pain and attacks, can also form into kidney stones, as Mount Sinai discusses.
While uric acid isn’t responsible for the majority of kidney stones, hyperuricemia may cause roughly a sixth of all kidney stone cases, as research published in Medicina states. Like gout, kidney stones can be super painful, creating a one-two punch of agony for you to have to deal with. Given that gout, the kidneys, and kidney stones all have a relationship with each other, it’s vital to seek treatment if you have kidney stones alongside gout. As with treating gout, trying to reduce your intake of foods high in purines or reduce uric acid levels via other means is a sensible course of action to reduce symptoms and the chance of further recurrence .
When Looking For The Culprit Behind Foot Pain Tingling And Strange Nerve Sensations Start At The Source: The Lower Back
Again, odd nerve sensations in the feet and lower extremities could be caused by any number of conditions. Properly diagnosing the cause and determining an appropriate treatment could require extensive testing and some measure of trial and error. Each patient case is unique.
That said, the lower back can be a good place to start the discovery process. Since the major nerve conduits start here, resolving the issue close to the spine can relieve symptoms all the way down the leg. Further, many individuals suffer from lower back issues that can create symptoms in the lower nervous system, especially in individuals over 30 years of age.
Addressing stress factors placed upon your lower back can also have the effect of improving your overall health, helping you strengthen blood flow and nervous system functioning from the waist down.
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How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. To check for broken bones or other damage, your provider may order imaging studies. These studies help your provider see clear pictures of your vertebrae, disks, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Your provider may order:
- Spine X-ray, which uses radiation to produce images of bones.
- MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of bones, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.
- CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create 3D images of bones and soft tissues.
Depending on the cause of pain, your provider may also order blood tests or urine tests. Blood tests can detect genetic markers for some conditions that cause back pain . Urine tests check for kidney stones, which cause pain in the flank .
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
PTTD is a medical condition that affects one of the foots most crucial tendons: the posterior tibial tendon. Thats from where its name is generated. If a person has flat feet caused by PTTD, he/she may feel pain in the foot or along the back calf.
The tendons present in the foot are mainly responsible for supporting the arch. If the tendons are torn or get injured, it can lead to a collapsed arch. This way, the person can acquire painful flat feet, especially when walking or standing.
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The Sciatic Nerve And Foot Pain
Composed of five nerves that join at the lower part of the spine, the sciatic nerve extends down the back of each leg all the way to the toes and connects the spinal cord with the many of the muscles in the leg and foot.
When the sciatic nerve becomes impaired in any way, such as from a low back problem that pinches or compresses the nerve roots that join together to form the sciatic nerve, a series of symptoms generally known as sciatica may manifest in the form of leg pain and foot pain as opposed to back pain.
Muscle Strain Or Sprain
A muscle strain or sprain is the most common cause of low back pain.
A strain is a tear or stretching in a tendon or muscle, while a sprain is a tear or stretching in a ligament.
Sprains and strains usually happen when you twist or lift something improperly, lift something heavy, or overstretch your back muscles.
These injuries can cause swelling, difficulty moving, and back spasms.
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How To Identify The Source Of Your Foot Pain
With all the possible causes of nerve pain in the foot, it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact underlying cause. Here are a few useful signs to help you identify the source of your foot pain:
- Foot pain that follows recent trauma to the lower back, hip, knee, or ankle may help indicate the site of nerve damage
- Foot pain due to nerve root compression or sciatica may also be associated with other symptoms, such as pain, numbness, and/or weakness in the buttock, thigh, and leg and typically affects one leg at a time
- Foot pain that develops after wearing tight boots or shoes may indicate peroneal or sural nerve compression near the knee or ankle
- Foot pain that develops after a hip injection or hip surgery may indicate sciatic neuropathy
Nerve pain in the foot may also occur due to nerve damage from systemic conditions, such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis.
Twisting, bending, or a direct hit on your ankle and/or foot may injure the foot bones, ankle joint, blood vessels, muscles, and/or tendons, causing foot pain.
The Key Symptom: Sciatica
If youre experiencing foot pain accompanied by the symptoms above, its likely that you have sciatica.
Sciatica is a medical symptom that results from pinching or pressing on your sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your foot.
It can cause pain and numbness all along the nerve.
As you might have guessed, sciatica is usually felt on one side only. Depending on how and where the sciatic nerve is pinched, you will experience pain in different areas along your foot, leg and/or lower back.
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Common Foot Pain Symptoms Related To The Lower Back
Depending on the lower back diagnosis, specific types of foot pain symptoms and other symptoms may include:
- Restricted ability to bring the foot up . This specific symptom is characterized by an inability to bring the foot upward and may be accompanied by numbness in the middle lower leg and foot. Heel walk may occur if one of the spinal nerve roots in the lower back that innervates the sciatic nerve is affected.
- Foot heaviness or weakness . Often originating from a spinal nerve root in the lower back, foot drop refers to a weak or heavy feeling that makes it difficult or impossible to flex the ankle and bring the front of the foot up. Foot drop due to a L5 nerve root problem will usually also produce pain that radiates down the outside of the calf and over the top of the foot to the big toe.
Flat Feet May Be The Cause Of Your Chronic Lower Back Pain
If you consider the size of your feet relative to the rest of your body, you can begin to understand the engineering marvel that is the human body. Our complex musculoskeletal structures are interconnected in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Much of it comes down to those two small extremities that are the foundation of it all.
At Active Rehab Clinics in Park Ridge and Bucktown, Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Tony Zemlinsky understands how a problem in one area can affect a seemingly unrelated area, such as the impact of flat feet on your lower back. Read on to learn how Dr. Zemlinsky helps patients overcome chronic lower back pain by addressing their fallen arches.
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Spinal Causes Of Leg Pain
Problems in the lower spine may affect the spinal nerve roots, causing pain to radiate into the leg and/or foot . Common causes of leg and foot pain that originate in the spine include:
- Herniated discs: Bulging or leaking out of an intervertebral discs inner contents .
Compression of the spinal cord in the neck and/or cauda equina in the lower back can also cause leg pain.
Sciatica + Foot And Ankle Pain: Whats The Connection
After many years of work in this area helping patients with foot and ankle pain and sciatica, we know that its common to experience foot and ankle pain simultaneously with sciatica. But what is sciatica?
Sciatica is a form of nerve pain that affects the area between the hips and knees. You can differentiate nerve pain from other types of pain because its usually a combination of tingling, numbness, or burning sensations.
It is usually caused by irritation or squashing of the sciatic nerve the two largest nerves in the human body, which run from your lower back down into each of your legs. You may even feel pain radiating behind your knee. The pain differs for everyone, but you can feel the pain in any area with nerve endings that travels through or near your sciatic nerves. For example, youll most likely have pain in one leg, but it could in rare circumstances occur in both legs at the same time. The nerve irritation causes intense discomfort and often pain. In some cases, it causes numbness or muscle weakness in an area of your leg on one side of your body. Symptoms may also worsen when you are sitting for long periods, climbing stairs, or getting out of bed too quickly.
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