What’s the Deal with My Left Foot?

by Chris Centeno, MD /

foot pain low back

I recently got a chance to film my feet hitting the ground on a treadmill, and I didn't like what I saw in my left foot. What did I see? An out-of-control forefoot that's likely being caused by my back. Let me explain. 

Most People Have No Idea the Role That Slightly Pissed-Off Back Nerves Play in Their Leg and Core Function

I rarely hike on a treadmill; after all, I live two blocks from the start of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. But on this trip to Grand Cayman, the sea was way too rough for a swim, so I decided to find creative ways to get my heart rate up. Hence, hiking up the incline on the treadmill. However, the curious thing was that glancing down at my feet, I immediately noticed a problem.

I shot a quick video of my feet and placed the dotted lines there so you can see what I'm talking about. Note my left forefoot (front of the left foot) versus the dashed center line I tried to line up with my ankle. Compare that to the front of my right foot. Do you see how my left forefoot is shooting outward? Why is this happening? I think it's part and parcel of a sloppy left leg and foot due to my low back.

Remember My L5 Slipping Forward?

I have had a sloppy left leg for some time now. Why? The left L5 and S1 nerves in my back get irritated, and more recently this has also been a problem for my ITB. To find out how my back and my ITB could be connected, watch my video below:


 

What does all of this have to do with my L5 vertebra slipping forward? The nerves that pass by there are more likely to get irritated because this level is unstable. These go to the muscles that jack into my ITB. Those are also the nerves that go to the muscles that control how my foot hits the ground. 

What Can I Do About All of This?

First and foremost, I'm a lot more conscious about controlling my foot. Meaning, I'm more focused on controlling it. Second, I've been having my partners perform the Regenexx DDD procedure about once a month to every six weeks to stabilize my back and reduce the nerve irritation. For more on how that works, watch my video below:

The upshot? Get on a treadmill and watch your feet. In this case, I just glanced down during a lull in my Netflix show. If you see something similar, realize that your body is connected from the back down to your feet, so the problem may be anywhere in those areas. 

Category: Spine

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Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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