Sciatic Nerve Pain: Causes & Symptoms


About 43% of the population will suffer from some sort of Sciatic Nerve Pain in their lifetime. the term “sciatica” is used to describe symptoms of “pain that originates in the lower back, travels through the buttock, and down the large sciatic nerve in each leg.” It is rare to have permanent nerve or tissue damage due to a pinched nerve, but being aware of the symptoms and causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain will help you to treat the pinched nerve effectively.


  1. Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
  2. Pain that worsens when sitting
  3. Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, searing,
  4. Weakness, numbness, difficulty moving leg, foot, and/or toes
  5. Sharp pain that makes it difficult to stand or walk

Common Causes

  1. Lumber Herniated Disc (aka slipped disc, bulging disc) – when tissue between discs leaks, irritating and pinching root of the nerve
  2. Degenerative Disc Disease – one or more discs in the lower back has deteriorated, oftentimes causing bone spurs that can press against the Sciatic Nerve and cause pain to the root of the nerve
  3. Isthmus Spondylolisthesis – a condition in which one vertebrae slips over the one below it
  4. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal. Common in adults over 60-years of age
  5. Piriformis Syndrome – condition in which the Piriformis Muscle in the buttocks spasms and causes pain
  6. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction – irritation in the joint at the bottom of the spine that connects sacrum to the pelvis

Other known causes include: pregnancy, scar tissue, muscle strain, spinal tumors, infections, fractures, and ankylosing spondylitis (chronic inflammation in and around the spine).

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It is important to understand the underlying medical causes and symptoms in order to treat effectively. Each patients treatment will focus on addressing the root cause of the pain as well as to alleviate acute symptoms.