Our feet are very important parts of our body. They provide a platform so we can move around, and they provide our body with the balance we need to perform many tasks. We take them for granted and don’t pay much attention unless our feet are out of sorts. They certainly get our attention if we develop a corn from wearing the wrong shoes, stub a toe, or break a nail past the quick. But there are other things than can create long-term foot pain. For these reasons, it’s important to know what is happening to our feet that is causing us pain.
Possible causes of foot pain include:
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
A tunnel through the bones in our feet provides a passageway for nerves, tendons, and vessels. When the bony tunnel is narrowed from such things as arthritis, fracture, surgery, or bone displacement, the tibial or plantar nerves are compressed and that causes the pain of tarsal tun...
While I’m sitting on the exam table with my legs dangling, the neurologist reaches for a metal object. He’s already poked me several times with the safety pin so I’m wondering what he plans to do with this larger pointy thing. He grasps my foot and scraps the object on the bottom of my foot along the outermost side and under the toes. My big toe jumps and the other toes look like they are trying to get away from the torture device. I have just demonstrated a positive Babinski sign.
During a standard neurological exam, the doctor will test many reflexes, or involuntary responses to stimuli. Much of that is done with a rubber mallet as the doctor taps various tendons and measures the response. However not all reflex tests involve the rubber mallet. One very important reflex test involves scraping the bottom of the foot.
“When the doctor scraps the bottom of my feet, what is he looking for?”
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