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What is sciatica of the foot?



Any pain in the ankle area caused by damage or irritation of the sciatic nerve is known as sciatica of the foot. This can last more (chronic) or less (acute) than six weeks. Physiotherapy is an important treatment of sciatica of the foot.


How does sciatica of the foot happen?



The most common cause of sciatica of the foot is a prolapsed or ‘slipped’ disc. This causes the disc material to leak out and make contact with the sciatic nerve. Other possible causes of sciatica of the foot include spinal stenosis and trauma to the spine. Bone diseases, spinal infection and tumours are rare causes of sciatica of the ankle.


Assessment of the foot and ankle by specialist therapistAbove: Assessment of the foot and ankle by specialist therapist



What are the symptoms of sciatica of the foot?



There are a number of different symptoms associated with sciatica of the foot. These may include:

What should I do if I have sciatica of the foot?



It is important to visit your GP if you suspect you may have sciatica of the foot. They can prescribe you with painkillers and may refer you for various tests and scans to provide you with a more accurate diagnosis. You should begin a physiotherapy as soon as possible to optimise your recovery.


What shouldn’t I do if I have sciatica of the foot?



It is important not to continue with any activities that aggravate your symptoms. This will delay the healing process and may create further damage.


Physiotherapy treatment for sciatica of the foot.



There are a number of possible treatments for sciatica of the foot including:

Are there any long-term complications of sciatica of the foot?



In the majority of cases, sciatica of the foot can be resolved with a structured physiotherapy programme. It is important that this is tailored to the individual to optimise recovery. If your symptoms are more chronic, rehabilitation for sciatica of the foot may be longer.


Trigger point massage of the planta fascia under the foot.Above: Trigger point massage of the planta fascia under the foot.



To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.