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Does sciatica affect the knee: Sciatic Nerve Location, Treatment, Causes & Pain Relief


Sciatica and Radicular (Nerve Related) Back and Leg Pain

Do you have lower back or buttock pain that runs down into one thigh or below the knee into the leg? If so, your doctor may diagnose your symptoms as sciatica—a term doctors use to describe compression of the sciatic nerve. Sensations, or unusual feelings may include numbness, tingling, pins and needles, and sometimes pain is described as electric-shock-like. Depending upon the individual nerve that is affected, pain can radiate only into the buttocks or all the way down to the foot. A common cause of sciatica and nerve compression is a lumbar disc herniation or bone spur that presses on a spinal nerve in the low back.

Sciatica pain radiates along the sciatic nerve, usually from the low back, down the buttocks, into the thigh and leg. One hallmark of classic sciatica is the pain and symptoms are felt below the knee and sometimes into the foot and great toe. Usually, sciatica only affects one side of the lower body.

Sciatica symptoms include low back and leg pain that may be described as burning or electric-shock-like. Photo Source: 123RF.com.

Radicular Pain, Radiculopathy

Radicular pain or radiculopathy are other terms your doctor may use when discussing sciatica. A radiculopathy is pain and/or adverse sensation that travel along a nerve. When a spinal nerve root is compressed, pinched or injured, it may become inflamed. Lumbar (low back) conditions that may cause this type of problem are spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis or herniated disc.

Proper Diagnosis Essential to Treatment

The doctor will ask you about your symptoms, such as:

  • When the pain started
  • Where you feel the pain
  • Activities that reduce or worsen pain and symptoms
  • Whether the pain goes all the way down your leg or stops at the knee
  • Is there weakness or tingling in your legs and/or feet?
  • How severe your pain is, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 is the worse pain imaginable)

The doctor may perform a straight-leg test to see if you have an inflamed nerve. You lie on your back while the doctor lifts each leg. If lifting a leg causes, or produces sciatic-like pain and sensations, you may have a bulging or ruptured disc.

The doctor may ask you to walk as you normally do, then on your heels and next, your toes. This helps the doctor to check your balance and aspects of lower-body strength. Compression of the nerve can cause muscle weakness in the foot which will be revealed by these tests.

During your exam, your doctor will:

  • Look at your posture and range of motion
  • Note any movement that causes pain
  • Examine the curvature and alignment of your spine
  • Feel for muscle spasm
  • Check your sensation
  • Test your reflexes and muscle strength

Your doctor may order a plain x-ray, CT scan or MRI. The CT scan or MRI provides the doctor with many snapshots of your spine, and can help confirm a suspected diagnosis. The findings of an imaging test are compared to the information the doctor gathers during the taking of your medical history, and physical and neurological examination results. An accurate diagnosis is one of the first steps in determining the best treatment options.

What Else Could it Be?

Only your doctor can tell for sure if your symptoms are sciatica. There are many other structures in the spine that can cause similar types of pain. For instance, the joint between the pelvic and sacrum (sacroiliac joint, or SI joint), the lowest part of the spine can cause pain in the buttock. You may also feel sciatica-like pain if you sprain a low back facet joint, which are the connecting joints in the back part of the spine. A tear in a disc can cause pain down into the leg. The hip joint can occasionally cause pain in the thigh.

Sciatica Treatment

Sciatica usually can be treated non-surgically with brief (24 to 48 hours) bed rest and pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medication that relieves nerve pain, such as gabapentin. Oral steroids are a good medication to calm down nerve pain. In most cases, patients with sciatica feel better over time, usually within a few weeks. If pain persists, injections might be discussed.

Muscle spasms, which may accompany sciatic symptoms, may be treated with heat or cold. Your doctor may tell you to take short walks, and may prescribe physical therapy. Once you recover, your doctor may give you exercises to strengthen your back.

The Reason Behind Knee Pain Could Be Sciatica

Knee pain is often caused by lower back pain, especially when not from an injury. The nerves that start in the lower back control muscles around your knees. Thus, the reason back problems can be the reason behind knee pain.

Sciatica is compression or irritation to these nerves. This irritation starts at the origin of the nerve. Pain then travels down the nerve. As a result, you may experience knee pain.

Knee pain is a common symptom of sciatica. Symptoms are felt in the front, back, or side of the knee. For instance, you may experience the following 5 symptoms:

  1. A dull ache around the knee
  2. Buckling of the knee
  3. A warm sensation around the knee
  4. Sharp pain around the knee
  5. Weakness when extending the knee

In addition to knee pain, you can also feel it in the thigh, calf, buttocks, or foot. However, it will likely occur mostly in one leg at a time. Both knees will not be affected at once.

Sciatica develops as a result of a medical condition. Specifically, a condition that affects your lower back, such as a herniated disc. Then the condition irritates one of the following parts of your lower back:

  • Discs
  • Nerves
  • Joints
  • Tissues
  • Muscles

Common Conditions That Cause Sciatica

Conditions that are known to cause sciatica include:

L4 radiculopathy: 

The compression of the L4 spinal nerve root causes sciatica. A herniated disc or spinal stenosis contributes to this. You may also get pain in your thigh and calf.

Tight hamstring:

These are the muscles at the back of the thigh. When muscles are tight, back stability is reduced. Therefore, the curvature is altered. This increases back stress and causes sciatica. Pain can then radiate to the knee.

L3 radiculopathy: 

A herniated lumbar disc causes L3 nerve compression. This part of the spine is in the lower back. This can cause pain in the knee as well as weakness. Pain can also be felt in the groin, hip, and thigh.

Patellofemoral stress syndrome: 

This is a condition where the kneecap rubs the thigh bone. This is also known as runner’s knee. You will feel a burning sensation at the edge of the kneecap. The pain will not be felt elsewhere in the leg. But, it is often mistaken for sciatica pain.

Treatment of Knee Pain Caused By Sciatica

If knee pain is caused by sciatica, treatment is required. This is accomplished by focusing on the underlying cause. And symptoms can be treated with self-care or medications. You can also relieve pain through physical therapy and exercise. In some cases, epidural steroids are injected.

In most cases, knee pain should subside with self-care. You can also try medical management and altering activities. However, if it continues or worsens, you need to see your doctor. Additionally, you want to cease activities that cause your pain level to increase.

Back problems commonly cause sciatica. And, sciatica is a common reason behind knee pain. Make sure you mention all symptoms to your doctor. So, he/she will be able to effectively diagnose. Furthermore, with regular exercise, you can prevent back injury and sciatica.

If you continue to experiencing knee pain or sciatica, call us at 888-409-8006. Our joint specialists can help. Offices are located throughout South Florida!

three signs that your knee pain may be originating in your back

Just about everything you think you know about your knee pain probably is wrong. Most physicians hold fast to what they learned in medical school, but the science of medicine is constantly evolving—finding less invasive ways to treat our ailments and discovering the root causes of our pain.

An important thing to understand is that what hurts is not necessarily the problem, but a symptom of the problem. If your knee pain isn’t the result of traumatic injury, a strong possibility exists that it could be caused by a problem in your back. Not determining the root cause of your pain could lead to an unnecessary knee replacement that doesn’t address the source of the pain. Research studies consistently show an unacceptably high percentage of patients continue to have chronic pain after knee-replacement surgeries.

Your back houses the nerves that drive the muscles around the knees. A problem with a nerve in your back can affect how those muscles work. Low-level nerve irritation usually isn’t noticed by patients as back or leg pain. It just causes the muscles to misfire, destroying the otherwise needed protection for the knee joint.

There are three signs that your back could be causing your knee pain.

1. knee pain accompanied by back pain
If you have acute or chronic knee pain, mentally and purposefully scan for other pains or discomforts that accompany it. These pains or discomforts may seem completely unrelated, but consider them anyway. Back pain can be related to knee pain simply based on the phenomenon of referred pain. The nerves to the lower extremities branch directly off the lower spine. So it’s easy to see how a pinched nerve, perhaps due to a bulging lumbar disc in the lower back, could direct pain down that nerve branch and into the knee. Maybe you travel for a living and spend a lot of time on airplanes, or maybe you have a desk job and don’t get up and move around like you should. Sitting reduces the disc height and increases the disc bulge by pushing water out of the disc. If you sit a lot, and you have both back and knee pain, it’s possible the knee pain is due to your back. You might not even consider your back discomfort to be pain. It may just be a little tense or tight. It could be very mild, but don’t discount it. Before deciding on a major knee surgery, you owe it to yourself to have even the mildest back discomfort investigated to determine if it’s causing your knee pain.

2. tightness in the hamstrings
Ever see people in the gym every day using a foam roller to massage and relax their hamstrings? These people can never seem to get permanently rid of the tightness. If this is you, there’s a reason this is happening, and it’s not good for your knees. The L5 nerve travels from the lumbar spine and down the outside hamstring muscle to power the biceps femoris. Hamstring pain or tightness that won’t go away despite repeated stretching is one of the first signs in the lower extremity that there could be a nerve issue in your back causing knee pain.  When the hamstrings become tight, painful, or inflamed, this will impact how the knee joint works. After a few weeks of hamstring tightness, the meniscus will begin to suffer and your body will attempt to repair it by mobilizing the stem cells in your knee and other inflammatory cells in the body. Since the trauma will be constant and ongoing, the cells’ efforts will be futile, and the swelling will live there until the root cause is addressed.

3. bunion formation
This may seem odd, but bunions can be a direct result of back issues. Where there are bunions and back issues, there is probably knee pain. The L5 spinal nerve goes to the muscles that help support the inside of the foot, while the S1 nerve goes to muscles that support the outside of the foot. When the nerve is stressed or injured, the muscles that support the outside of the foot as you walk, run, or stand won’t be able to do their job. This will cause the foot to pronate, forcing a misalignment in the main tendon and leading to an unnatural tilting of the big toe joint. This tilting of the toe joint creates pressure in the joint, where bunions, or bone spurs, can form. When you develop a bunion, it’s important to find its source. There’s a good chance your back is the culprit.

“Could Your Back Be Causing Your Knee Pain?” first appeared as a post on the Regenexx blog.
Like all medical procedures, Regenexx procedures have a success and failure rate.
Not all patients will experience the same results.

Can Sciatica Lead to Knee Pain?

Most people don’t associate knee pain with sciatica. But if common sources of knee-related pain are eliminated, something going on in the lower back area may be affecting the knee. One possibility is irritation of the sciatic nerve, which originates in the lower spine and affects some of the muscles that control the knees. Read on to learn how sciatica could lead to or contribute to discomfort felt in the knee.

You Should Look for an Unusual Combination of Symptoms

With sciatic nerve irritation that’s also causing knee pain, you might experience symptoms associated with both knee-related discomfort and sciatica at the same time. This combination of symptoms may include:

• Sharp pains, dull aches, and warm sensations in or around the knees
• Difficulty placing weight on the affected knee
• A knee that regularly gives out or buckles
• Weakness when attempting to straighten or extend your leg at the knee

You may also experience classic sciatica symptoms in the thighs, buttocks, calves, or feet. Since sciatic nerve pain typically affects only one leg at a time, you might notice discomfort limited to one knee at a time.

Underlying Conditions in Your Spine Could Affect Your Knees

It’s not unusual for sciatica to be related to an underlying condition affecting the spine in some way. Such conditions sometimes cause issues with spinal discs, joints, nerves, and soft tissues in a way that irritates the sciatic nerve. Two of these conditions are L4 radiculopathy and tight hamstrings.

• L4 radiculopathy – Nerve irritation at this level, which could be due to a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, may cause nerve-based pain that extends beyond the spine (radiculopathy) to your knee. Discomfort could continue to your thigh and/or calf.

• Tense/tight hamstrings – The resulting stress from tight hamstrings may alter your spine’s normal curvature enough to affect spinal joints. The resulting stiffness and discomfort may extend to your knee and leg from your lower back.

Some Sources of Knee Pain Can Mimic Sciatica

Knee pain that appears to be related to sciatica may end up not being related to the sciatic nerve at all. Two possible sources of nerve and/or joint injuries that can mimic sciatica are L3 radiculopathy and patellofemoral stress syndrome.

• L3 radiculopathy – Often caused by a herniated disc in the lower back or lumbar spinal narrowing (stenosis), L3 nerve root compression starts in the mid-back area and sometimes contributes to knee weakness and/or pain.

• Patellofemoral stress syndrome – Also called “runner’s knee,” this condition often produces a burning sensation or sharp pain in the knee area and sometimes causes weakness that could be mistaken for sciatica. It’s caused by friction between the kneecap and femur (thigh bone).

Knee Pain Linked to Sciatica Can Be Treated

Should sciatica be the cause of your knee pain, treatment will likely involve addressing the underlying source of your sciatic nerve irritation. Treatments recommended may include:

• Therapeutic exercises
• Pain-relieving meds
• Guided physical therapy
• Epidural steroid injections

If self-care isn’t easing your knee pain, talk to your doctor to receive a proper diagnosis. This process may involve a referral to a Santa Monica spine surgeon if your symptoms suggest sciatica may be the true source of your knee pain. You can help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis by being as descriptive as possible about your symptoms.

Get in touch with The Spine Institute today if you think you might have sciatica or another spine-related condition. We specialize in a wide array of fusion and non-fusion procedures, from artificial disc replacement to extreme lateral interbody fusion. Santa Monica patients place their trust in Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert surgeons. Call 310-828-7757 today to schedule an appointment.

Sciatica, shooting leg pain | Cincinnati, OH Mayfield Brain & Spine


Sciatica is a shooting pain that begins in the lower back, radiates into the buttock and down the back of one leg. The pain is often caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc, bone spurs or muscle strain (Fig. 1). You play an important role in the prevention, treatment, and recovery of leg pain. It typically improves with rest, physical therapy, and other self-care measures. Chronic pain may be helped with surgery.

Figure 1. The sciatic nerve is formed from the spinal nerves L4 to S3. The two sciatic nerves travel through the pelvis and down the back of each leg. Each nerve divides into a peroneal and tibial nerve to provide feeling and muscle control of the legs and feet.

Types of leg pain

Leg pain ranges from mild to severe and can be acute or chronic.

Acute sciatic pain occurs suddenly and usually heals within several days to weeks. The severity relates directly to the amount of tissue injury. The source of pain may be in the spinal joints, discs, nerves, or muscles and ligaments.

Chronic sciatic pain persists for more than 3 months and its source may be hard to determine. Chronic pain may be felt all the time or worsen with certain activities. Contributing factors may include nerve damage, tissue scarring, arthritis, or mental effects of pain. People with chronic symptoms may be referred to a pain specialist (see Pain Management).

What are the symptoms?

Classic sciatic pain starts in the low back and buttocks. It affects one leg traveling down the back of the thigh, past the knee, and sometimes into the calf and foot. The pain feels worse in the leg than in the back. It may range from a mild ache to severe burning or a shooting pain. Numbness or tingling (pins-and-needles) can occur in your leg and foot. This usually is not a concern unless you have weakness in your leg muscles or foot drop.

Sitting usually causes the most pain because of the weight this position puts onto the discs. Activities, such as bending or twisting, worsen the pain, whereas lying down tends to bring relief. Running or walking may actually feel better than sitting or standing for too long.

Seek medical help immediately if you have extreme leg weakness, numbness in the genital area, or loss of bladder or bowel function. These are signs of a condition called cauda equina syndrome.

What are the causes?

Sciatica can be caused by a number of conditions that irritate or compress the sciatic nerve:

  • Piriformis syndrome: Tightening or spasm of the piriformis muscle can compress the nerve.
  • Trauma: A sports injury or fall can fracture the spine or tear a muscle and damage nerves.
  • Herniated disc: The gel-like center of a spinal disc can bulge or rupture through a weak area in the disc wall and compress nerves.
  • Stenosis: Narrowing of the bony canals in the spine can compress the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Osteoarthritis: As discs naturally age they dry out and shrink. Small tears in the disc wall can be painful. Bone spurs can form. The facet joints enlarge and ligaments thicken.
  • Spondylolisthesis: A weakness or stress fracture in the facet joints can allow a vertebra to slip out of position and pinch the nerves.

Leg pain can also be caused by a joint problem in the hip or sacroiliac joint. This type of referred pain is quite common, but is not sciatica.

How is a diagnosis made?

A careful medical exam will attempt to determine the type and cause of your spine problem and the treatment options. A diagnostic evaluation includes a medical history and physical exam. Sometimes imaging scans (e.g., x-ray, CT, MRI) and tests to check muscle strength and reflexes are used.

What treatments are available?

Healing begins with self-care and nonsurgical strategies (Fig. 2). The goal is to correct the problem, restore function, and prevent re-injury.

Figure 2. Exercise, strengthening, stretching and ideal weight loss are key elements to your treatment. Make these a part of your life-long daily routine.

Self care: Sciatica often resolves with rest, ice or heat, massage, pain relievers, and gentle stretches. Reduce muscle inflammation and pain using an ice pack for 20 minutes several times a day during the first 48 to 72 hours. Thereafter, a warm shower or heating pad on low setting may be added to relax the muscles. A short period of bed rest is okay, but more than a couple of days does more harm than good. If self-care treatments aren’t working within the first couple of days, see your doctor. (See Self Care for Neck and Back Pain).

Medication: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, can bring relief. A muscle relaxant may be prescribed for spasms. If pain is severe, an analgesic may be prescribed that can be taken with the NSAID or muscle relaxant.

Steroids can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves. They are taken orally (as a Medrol dose pack) tapered over a five-day period or by injection directly into the painful area (see epidural steroid injections and facet injections). Steroids may provide immediate pain relief within 24 hours.

Physical therapy: For most leg pain, we recommend a nearly normal schedule from the onset. Physical therapy can help you return to full activity as soon as possible and prevent re-injury. Physical therapists will show proper lifting and walking techniques, and exercises to strengthen and stretch your lower back, leg, and stomach muscles. Massage, ultrasound, diathermy, heat, and traction may also be recommended for short periods. Patients may also benefit from yoga, chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture.

Surgery: Surgery is rarely needed unless you have muscle weakness, a proven disc herniation, cauda equina syndrome, or severe pain that has not resolved after a reasonable course of nonsurgical treatment. Surgery for a herniated disc, called a discectomy, removes the portion of the disc compressing the spinal nerve. People with stenosis may benefit from a decompression of the nerves.

Recovery and prevention

A positive mental attitude, regular activity, and a prompt return to work are all very important elements of recovery. If regular job duties cannot be performed initially, modified (light or restricted) duty may be prescribed for a limited time.

Prevention is key to avoiding recurrence:

  • Proper lifting; avoid sitting for long periods
  • Good posture during sitting, standing, moving, and sleeping
  • Regular exercise with stretching and strengthening
  • An ergonomic work area
  • Good nutrition, healthy weight and lean body mass
  • Stress management and relaxation
  • No smoking

Sources & links

If you have questions, please contact the Mayfield Brain & Spine at 800-325-7787 or 513-221-1100.



acute: a condition of quick onset lasting a short time, opposite of chronic.

cauda equina syndrome: compression of the end of the spinal cord (cauda equina) causing low back pain, numbness in the saddle area (groin), extreme leg weakness, difficulty controlling bladder or bowel function; an emergency condition – if left untreated can cause paralysis.

chronic: a condition of slow progression and continuing over a long period of time, opposite of acute.

sciatica: pain that courses along the sciatic nerve in the buttocks and down the legs. Usually caused by compression of the 5th lumbar spinal nerve.

radiculopathy: refers to any disease affecting the spinal nerve roots. Also used to describe pain along the sciatic nerve that radiates down the leg.

updated > 9.2018
reviewed by > Banita Bailey, RN, Mayfield Clinic, Cincinnati, Ohio

Mayfield Certified Health Info materials are written and developed by the Mayfield Clinic. This information is not intended to replace the medical advice of your health care provider.

How Long Does Sciatica Pain Last?

The quick answer to how long does sciatica lasts is to stop the activity that is irritating it.  A common recommendation is to stretch the nerve, but this may not be the best way to treat it.  Nerve tissue does not respond well to stretching, especially when it is inflamed.  Avoiding positions that stretch the sciatic nerve may be the best way to help the pain initially.  Hamstring stretches can pull on the sciatic nerve, so avoiding hamstring stretching may limit the nerve’s irritation initially.  Basic movement exercises may be the best treatment initially.  See our article on the Top 3 Sciatic Nerve Stretches for more specifics on lower back stretches that may help. 

Pain along the Sciatic Nerve can limit daily activity.  The pain typically runs from the lower back down the buttocks.  It can also cause pain in the back of the knee, thigh, and lower leg.  Sciatica can feel like hip nerve pain in some people.  Sciatic nerve pain typically originates in the low back.  Inflammation in a disk or facet joint can irritate the sciatic nerve.  

How Long Does Sciatica Last? Is Sciatica a Permanent Disability?

Sciatica Nerve pinched is treatable with physical therapy

The quick answer is that typically, Sciatica is a temporary issue.  Most people are better in 4 to 8 weeks.  In rare cases, it can lead to permanent disability, but there are usually other factors such as severe nerve injury, other health complications, obesity, and a lack of conditioning.  Most of the time, Sciatica is treatable with physical therapy.  Some severe cases require steroid injections in the spine.  In rare cases, surgery may be required in the lumbar spine to relieve sciatic symptoms.  Your actions can determine how long does sciatica lasts. 

What is the Best Pain Relief for Sciatica Pain?

Anti-inflammatory medications may help with the pain in the sciatic nerve.  Consult a physician if you are not sure about whether anti-inflammatory medications are safe for you.  Ice, heat, and massage may help treat symptoms.  

Can Sciatica Nerve Pinched Pain Go Away on its Own?

Sciatica can go away on its own, but physical therapy may help it go away faster because it typically originates from lumbar spine issues.  Without physical therapy treatment for the low back, there is a high chance of recurring issues with the low back and sciatic nerve.  Physical therapy helps to train the deep stabilizing muscle to control movements in the low back.  This allows for more normal movement patterns.  Normal muscle activity and movement patterns make re-irritation less likely.

Image of the Sciatic Nerve and Piriformis Muscle

Physical Therapy Can Decrease the Pain and How Long the Pain Lasts

Physical Therapy has been shown to decrease the pain associated with sciatica significantly.  It also can decrease the length of time the sciatic nerve is irritated.  Therapists can use modalities like electrical stimulation or laser therapy to decrease pain and inflammation.  Stretching and core strengthening can also help to get you back on the road to recovery. 

If you want to learn more about low back pain, go to https://www.joionline.net/trending/content/low-back-pain.

By: Ehren Allen, DPT, Certified Manual Therapist

To schedule an appointment with an Orthopaedic Back Specialist, please call JOI-2000, schedule online, or follow the link below.

Back Disorders and Knee Pain

Most people assume if they have knee pain, it is due to a problem with the knee joint. This is not always the case. While the discomfort can be due to a knee condition, it can also be the result of a disc protrusion or a pinched nerve in your lower back. Working with your doctor and a physical therapist can help determine if that is the case.

Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin

How the Spine Causes Knee Pain

The nerve roots that transmit the sensation of pain to the legs and feet are located in the lower back. Occasionally with age or injury, the discs between the vertebrae can degenerate or bulge out and press on these nerves.

When this occurs, the nerve becomes irritated and sends out pain signals. The location of the pain depends on which disc is protruding.

The severity of the pain depends on how much of the disc is pressing on the nerve. The nerves that send fibers to the knee are located at the second, third, and fourth lumbar vertebral levels in the lower back area.

If a bulging disc, bone spur, or arthritic joint in the second, third, or fourth lumbar vertebra compresses (“pinches”) a nerve, the referred pain will often be felt in the knee.

Referred pain is pain perceived at a location other than where the cause is situated. It is the result of pain signals being sent along the network of interconnecting sensory nerves.

This condition can be diagnosed by your physician with a thorough history and physical exam. If the nerve that travels to your thigh and knee is irritated or pinched, you may feel a host of symptoms, including:

  • Pain in the front of your thigh
  • Knee pain
  • Numbness or tingling in your thigh
  • Weakness in your hip or quadriceps muscles

If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor. In some cases, the hip may be the culprit, so a careful examination is necessary to find the true cause of your knee pain.


A conservative approach, including physical therapy and postural correction, is usually favored. The vast majority of people with this type of problem can find relief with non-surgical treatments.

Steroid injections may be used, if needed, to help decrease inflammation around your nerve root, but this intervention is not usually part of the initial treatment plan.

Surgery may be considered after conservative measures have been tried without success, but sometimes surgery is indicated as the initial treatment.

Physical therapy is central to the treatment plan and may include interventions such as back stretching and core strengthening exercises.

A range of tailored physical therapy techniques can be beneficial, including such methods as the McKenzie Method. Diagnostic testing is often an ongoing part of the therapy process. For example, if you do a back exercise and the pain centralizes in the spine, your knee pain might be referred from your back.

Continuing through a progression of exercises to centralize your pain can help you quickly and safely get rid of your knee pain and get back to normal activity. If your knee pain is improved by exercises for your spine, your therapist can also show you postural correction exercises and strategies to keep pressure off the compressed nerve.

On the other hand, if movements in your spine have no effect on your knee pain, the physical therapist may work with you to determine if your pain is caused by a problem with the knee or hip joint.

A Word From Verywell

Pain in your thigh or your knee can certainly be coming from the knee joint proper, but it can also come from a pinched nerve in your back. While you might try to rest or stretch your knee on your own, that might not be effective if your problem is arising from your spine.

Visiting your doctor and working closely with a physical therapist who is a spinal specialist, can help you quickly and safely determine the cause of your pain, and fully return to your normal active lifestyle.

Neurological disease sciatica (inflammation of the sciatic nerve) | | Infopro54

It occurs as a result of a pinched nerve or its end.

Symptoms. With sciatica, pain, movement disorders appear. The pain syndrome is sharp, acute, strong or shooting. Appears on the back of the thigh, under the knee, or on the back of the lower leg. And it always occurs in the area of ​​the affected nerve. It is constantly present or occurs periodically. It can pass, but after a while it returns.Any movement brings unbearable pain. Occasionally, these pains are stronger, they arise unexpectedly. Attacks of pain syndrome can be due to hypothermia of the back, lifting of weight, sudden movements. Pain syndrome also occurs in the lower back. This may include burning, tingling, or shooting pain in the back. The sharper the pain occurs, the more difficult it is for a person to move. With inflammation of the sciatic nerve, other symptoms appear: sweating of the foot, swelling of the legs, reddening of the skin or a complete absence of sweating.Possible temperature at the site of injury, or vice versa cold snap. The pain syndrome is stronger at night. From seizures, a person wakes up, feels overwhelmed.

Complications. If left untreated or improperly treated, there can be complications. There will be stiffness in the movement of the foot. In severe cases, the patient will not be able to stand, walk or even sit. Pain will lead to stress, fainting, neurosis. Atrophy of the leg muscles may occur. Stool and urination are impaired. There is pain with every movement.

Prevention. Sciatica is difficult to treat. You cannot be completely cured of it. For prophylaxis, the following rules must be observed:
1. Timely treat infectious diseases;
2. Do not lift heavy objects;
3. Do not overcool the body;
4. avoid stress;
5. do not injure the back and spine;
6. adjust your weight;
7. Do not make sudden movements.

It is necessary to sleep on a hard mattress. To avoid this disease, you must regularly do strengthening, gymnastic exercises.Correct posture is important. When sitting in the back, there should be no pain. For prophylaxis, take vitamins of group B. It is necessary to do massages, it is useful to go in for swimming in the pool. It is necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle. This will help strengthen and tone your back muscles. When treating the disease, proper and balanced nutrition is important. Prevention of sciatica prevents the exacerbation of the disease.

Sciatica (acute) – Description of the diagnosis

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The date of the last revision 5/25/2018 90,000 Symptoms of a pinched sciatic nerve

The sciatic nerve is one of the longest in the human body.In a situation where it is pinched by an intervertebral disc, the patient can experience extremely unpleasant painful sensations, endure discomfort, loss of mobility and sensitivity of the limbs.

Most often, a sure sign that you have sciatica is the appearance of a sharp back pain, sudden muscle numbness. Often, all this is accompanied by a violation of the work of internal organs.

As a rule, a painful condition occurs suddenly, but to get rid of its consequences you will need a long period of time.

Symptoms and Causes

The first thing that indicates pinching is severe pain. It rolls over a person in seizures, it can intensify with movement or physical exertion. The sensation itself is of varying intensity and is concentrated in different parts of the body. The most common area is the loin. Sciatica also causes pain in the buttocks or the back of the thigh, and also spreads to the rest of the leg.

Changes in reflexes when checked by a doctor may be another sign.For this reason, before the appointment of special diagnostic methods, a standard examination is carried out.

Often, the patient feels a change in the condition of the skin – numbness or the appearance of goose bumps. This indicates that pinching is concentrated in this area. Numbness can also be accompanied by muscle weakening. For this reason, a person who experiences sciatica changes gait – he falls to one side, as the muscles let him down, or he himself deliberately tries to reduce the load on the injured leg.

Among the causes of pinching, doctors distinguish several factors at once, including:

  • The presence of an intervertebral hernia.
  • Development of neoplasms.
  • Osteochondrosis.
  • Change or even loss of the knee, Achilles, plantar reflex when checked by a doctor.

These are just a few factors that can cause pinching. Often people with low physical activity, as well as those who are forced to face strong loads, suffer from this ailment.Sciatica is also an age-related disease. As medical practice shows, very often such a diagnosis is made to people at a very old age.


In most cases, a simple examination is sufficient to determine if a patient is pinched. The patient is checked for reflexes, they look at the evenness of the gait.

However, in order to develop the correct methodology for the future treatment of sciatica, the doctor may need to carry out a number of special procedures.They are aimed at identifying the very cause of the painful condition, for its subsequent elimination.

One of the most frequent procedures that are carried out to diagnose such an ailment is MRI and ultrasound. Computed tomography and radiography are also used. Among these methods, the most popular is magnetic resonance imaging. It allows you to get a clear and accurate picture of the patient’s body condition.

Treatment of a pinched sciatic nerve

So, you have sciatica, what to do in this situation? The correct answer is to see a doctor as soon as possible.Failure to properly treat the sciatic nerve can lead to the appearance of a chronic inflammatory process, which has an extremely negative effect on human health.

In order to relieve pain and restore the patient’s motor ability, the doctor uses special anti-inflammatory drugs. After that, physiotherapy, therapeutic exercises and acupuncture are used. Much depends on the patient, because sciatica is a sure sign that you are leading the wrong lifestyle. Depending on the cause of the pinching, the patient may need to start doing wellness exercises, change their lifestyle, move more and be careful with heavy loads.

Treatment in our clinic is available to everyone

Contacting the specialists of our medical center will help you relieve pain and regain the ability to move freely. Doctors have the full range of knowledge about pinching the sciatic nerve – symptoms, treatment, methods of rehabilitation after an illness.

Our specialists have extensive experience in the chosen field, so you can always rely on their professionalism. Our clinic has everything you need to carry out the correct physiotherapy and other methods of influencing the affected nerve.

For our patients, we create a comfortable atmosphere conducive to fast and pleasant treatment. Our prices are among the most affordable in the capital, we provide a flexible system of bonuses and special offers. Feel free to contact us and start a new life without pain and discomfort.

Sciatica treatment – how to treat sciatica, effective treatment of the disease in the Tibet clinic

Sciatica, or sciatic neuralgia, is a complex of neurological symptoms associated with compression and / or inflammation of the sciatic nerve.The name of the syndrome comes from the Greek word “sciatica” – buttock.

The sciatic nerve is the largest (thickest and longest) paired nerve in humans. It is formed by the plexus of several lumbar and sacral nerves (L4-S3) in the lumbosacral spine. Another name for sciatica is lumbosacral radiculitis or sciatic neuritis, which indicates an inflammatory process.

Medical treatment of sciatica symptoms, as a rule, gives only a short-term result and cannot completely relieve pain, much less prevent its relapse.Moreover, the use of painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs (non-steroidal, hormonal) in the long term is harmful, since it leaves the cause of sciatica unaffected.

The only real treatment for sciatica is a complex effect on the cause of compression of the sciatic nerve and its inflammation. As it is done by the doctors of the Tibet clinic, using the most effective methods of oriental reflexology, physiotherapy, massage (manual) techniques. The success of the treatment of sciatic neuralgia in “Tibet” is evidenced by the fact that in 97-98% of sciatica cases, stable positive results are achieved.

or call:

+7 495 781-57-57 (Moscow)
+7 812 643-20-70 (St. Petersburg)

Free consultation

Interrogation, inspection,

pulse diagnostics

from 30 minutes


Ultrasound, MRI, laboratory

research (by appointment)




Causes of sciatic neuralgia

The peak incidence of sciatica occurs at 45-60 years.In more than 90% of cases, sciatica is caused by protrusion or herniated disc, which is preceded by osteochondrosis in 95% of cases. Therefore, sciatica, even though the onset is acute, should be treated as a chronic disease.

The reason for the prolapse of the disc and pinching of the sciatic nerve is a mismatch between the loads and the possibilities of recovery in the lumbosacral region. Increased loads are not always associated with heavy lifting, sports or hard physical labor. Muscle hypertonicity, tension, spasms in the lower back, which are formed during prolonged sitting, play a much larger role.Therefore, sciatica is more susceptible to sedentary people who lead a sedentary lifestyle and are overweight.

In the “Tibet” clinic there is a FREE initial consultation, during which the doctor will diagnose and inform the plan for sciatica treatment in your case!

Who provides sciatica treatment

Chief physician in g.Moscow, reflexologist, neurologist. Candidate of Medical Sciences
Experience 36 years

Chief physician in St. Petersburg. Reflexologist, neurologist
Experience 27 years

Experience 45 years

Chiropractor, reflexologist
Work experience 18 years

Reflexologist, neurologist, hirudotherapist, St.St. Petersburg
Work experience 30 years

Reflexologist, neurologist
25 years of experience

Reflexologist, neurologist
25 years of experience

Reflexologist, hirudotherapist.Candidate of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Non-drug Methods of Treatment and Clinical Physiology of the First Moscow State Medical University
25 years of experience

Symptoms of sciatic neuralgia

The sciatic nerve consists of a pair of nerves containing motor and sensory fibers. Therefore, the symptoms of its inflammation can be divided into two groups:

  • Sensitive symptoms of sciatica – pain in the buttock and leg, tingling, burning, creeping in the leg, numbness of the back of the thigh, lower leg, lower back pain (acute, shooting, dagger or aching , chronic).
  • Motor symptoms – weakness and lack of mobility of the leg, paresis or paralysis of the foot, knee flexion.

Lumbar hernia or disc protrusion in sciatica disrupts the innervation of the lower body, which is manifested by intestinal and bladder dysfunctions.

Symptoms of sciatic neuritis are almost always one-sided, and in men the left nerve is more often affected (up to 80% of cases), and in women – the right one.

Benefits of sciatica treatment in our clinic

  • “Tibet” – the clinical base of the First Moscow State Medical University named after I.M. Sechenov of the Ministry of Health of Russia (Sechenov University).
  • Treatment of sciatic nerve neuralgia in “Tibet” is carried out by more than 30 doctors with higher medical education , who are fluent in the methods of oriental medicine. Our specialists
  • The Tibet Clinic in Moscow and St. Petersburg has been operating 10 years . During this time, more than 3,000 patients underwent successful sciatica treatment with us.
  • The effectiveness of our methods is supported by the facts. Positive results in the treatment of sciatica are achieved in 95-98% of cases .
  • “Tibet” has a unique quality control system for treatment .
  • Clinic “Tibet” – laureate of the prestigious European prize “Aurora Beauty & Health”, winner in the nomination “The best clinic of oriental medicine”. More

or call:

+7 495 781-57-57 (Moscow)
+7 812 643-20-70 (St. Petersburg)

Free consultation

Interrogation, inspection,

pulse diagnostics

from 30 minutes


Ultrasound, MRI, laboratory

research (by appointment)




Treatment of sciatic neuritis

Symptoms and treatment of sciatica are associated with the main problem – prolapse of the intervertebral disc in the form of protrusion or hernia.Symptomatic methods are justified only in the acute stage of inflammation, but even in this case, non-drug treatment is preferable – acupuncture, manual therapy, chiseled heating (thermotherapy) and massage. However, it is not enough to just anesthetize sciatica, it is necessary to act on its cause, prevent complications and reliably relieve the patient of all symptoms.

The best answer to the question of how to treat sciatica is the complex application of the methods of traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine.In order to draw up an optimal treatment plan, the doctor of the Tibet clinic analyzes the data obtained using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), reflex studies, palpation, questioning, anamnesis. After this, an individual course of exposure to the lumbosacral spine and sciatic nerve is carried out.

Acupuncture – helps to stop acute pain in the buttock and lower back, relieve inflammation and swelling around the pinched nerve, relieve muscle tension, reduce neurological symptoms of sciatica, restore sensitivity, range of motion in the knee and foot, eliminate paralysis, paresis of the foot.

Acupressure massage – used to relieve acute pain (along with acupuncture) and in the complex treatment of the lumbosacral region, normalizes muscle tone, relieves physical tension in the lumbar region, helps to eliminate compression of the sciatic nerve, improve the movement of arterial and venous blood.

Manual therapy – relieves the lumbosacral spine, facilitates compression of the sciatic nerve, blood vessels in the spine, increases range of motion.

Hirudotherapy – has a positive effect on blood circulation in the lumbar region and sacrum, physiological processes in the spine, reduces inflammation and accelerates disc recovery.

Moxibustion – heats and relaxes the area near the spine, activates blood flow, stimulates recovery processes, facilitates compression of the sciatic nerve.

These and other methods of the Tibet clinic – stone therapy, UHT, medical massage with honey, vacuum therapy – reliably relieve pain in the buttock, lower back and other symptoms of sciatica (main and concomitant), reduce disc prolapse and make it safe, warn resumption of pain attacks.

What they are treating us with: Voltaren. Gel and patches against muscle and joint pain

Like ketoprofen, diclofenac in the form of gels and ointments fights bone and muscle pain better than placebo (here it was a gel with the same composition as the medicinal one, but without NSAIDs) … Scientists established this when they analyzed studies on more than ten thousand patients. Most of the subjects were over 40 and suffered from knee pain due to arthritis. About 20% of patients received local side effects (skin irritation, redness, allergic reactions, and so on).By the way, other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have not shown significant results.

Another review, no longer Cochrane, but with the same inclusion criteria, also concludes that topical diclofenac relieves pain in arthritis and rheumatoid diseases. The authors also add that diclofenac reduces inflammation in patients.

Another review summarizes data from other Cochrane Reviews. It reviews a list of several non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including patches and gels with diclofenac, tested in total on thirty thousand patients.For patients with arthritis and arthrosis of the elbows and knees, diclofenac has become an effective pain reliever, like ketoprofen. But the gel with capsaicin (a component obtained from hot pepper) helped from postoperative neuralgia. Other drugs in the same form did not have a strong effect.

Indicator.Ru recommends: suitable for eliminating pain, but not the causes

Like Fastum-gel, Voltaren can help with rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases that cause many problems in older people.At the same time, one should not forget that although a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can do its job well, reducing pain and inflammation, these can only be symptoms that lie on the surface, and the destruction of joints, pinched nerves or another internal cause of the disease from Voltaren is not will pass. Painkillers only mask the disease, but do not fight it, sometimes preventing new alarming symptoms from being noticed.

Treatment of a pinched sciatic nerve in Yekaterinburg

The sciatic nerve is the longest in the human nervous system.It is responsible for the muscle function of the legs and their sensitivity. Therefore, if the sciatic nerve is pinched and inflamed ( sciatica ), the pain can affect the lower back, the back of the thigh and the entire length of the leg to the heel and toes.

In advanced stages, infringement can provoke problems with potency and a complete loss of sensitivity of the legs below the knee.

Features and symptoms of pinching

The main cause of pain is deterioration of the intervertebral discs and vertebrae.They shift and begin to press on the nerve roots. People over 40 are at risk. However, pinching of the sciatic nerve also occurs in young patients over 25 years of age.

Vertebrologist’s comment

“Pinching” (compression) of the sciatic nerve is more common in men, which is associated with increased physical exertion, prolonged sitting (drivers and representatives of other professions), improper performance of movements, especially when lifting weights.In women, the disease usually manifests itself in the delivery and postpartum period and is associated with a shift in the center of gravity, an increase in pressure inside the pelvic cavity, as well as a change in metabolism during this period.

Lapaev Sergey Vladimirovich

Depending on the degree of pinching of the nerve, the pain can be either acute, unbearable, or dull, aching.

Not in Yekaterinburg?

Symptoms of a pinched nerve

  • pain in the back of the leg, they increase with movement and walking
  • difficulty walking
  • weakness in the leg, numbness, tingling
  • acute pain when transferring body weight to one leg
  • pain in the buttock area + sometimes in the lumbar region
  • decreased muscle tone

If inflammation joins the pinched nerve, such signs as appear:

  • edema
  • redness
  • increased body temperature
  • pain when urinating

A characteristic feature of pain when a nerve is pinched, they disappear at rest and appear at any stress.

Treatment of pinched sciatic nerve in Yekaterinburg

In the acute phase of the disease, physical activity and stress are prohibited. The complex of therapy measures is selected individually, based on the patient’s condition.

As a rule, treatment is long-term and affects not only the acute period, but also the period after the removal of the pain syndrome. During treatment, the patient must be at rest and, as directed, wear a special fixation belt. Only this approach allows you to achieve stable positive results.

Treatment of a pinched sciatic nerve can be done at the Evolife Prevention and Rehabilitation Center. Our specialists will do everything to help you get rid of pain and restore the normal functioning of the sciatic nerve.

  • Neurologist’s consultation

    A highly qualified specialist will conduct an examination and diagnostics, prescribe an effective therapy aimed at eliminating spasms, restoring metabolic processes in the intervertebral discs and releasing pinched nerve endings.

  • Acupuncture

    Acupuncture in case of pinching of the sciatic nerve has a rapid analgesic effect, since it affects the root cause of inflammation. The procedure provides symptom relief and long-lasting results.

  • Computer traction in 2D

    Traction therapy creates the necessary conditions for the restoration of disc structures. As a result, pain is eliminated, intervertebral discs, joints and articular cartilage are relieved.

  • Apparatus kinesiotherapy

    Restores the health of intervertebral joints, activates problem muscles, strengthens neuromuscular connection.Exercises are carried out on the medical simulator “Ormed-kineso”

  • Electrotherapy

    Impact with low-frequency impulse currents has proven effective in combating various pathologies. As a result of treatment, nutrition and blood supply to tissues are improved, muscle tone is increased, spasms and pain are relieved.

  • 5 misleading signs of sciatica

    Signs of sciatica can overlap with symptoms of other health problems and may disappear over time.Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor. He will clarify the diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment.

    Last Updated: January 11, 2019

    Some diseases are easy to identify. But signs, for example, sciatica can be misleading. Leg pain can arise from fatigue, but keep in mind that it can also be a symptom of sciatica .

    If leg pain bothers you, think about it. It may be a small cramp, but other than that, you feel some numbness and goosebumps, and when you cough or sneeze, the pain intensifies.

    Looks like sciatica. Or not?

    The first thing you should know is that sciatica is not a disease, but a health problem that is not easy to diagnose.

    But how do you know if you have sciatica?

    Signs of sciatica

    1. Weak knees

    Usually we are talking about one knee, pain in which is radiated to the entire leg . When this occurs in both legs, urgent medical attention is needed, in which case surgery may be required.But usually the pain is felt in one leg. This happens when the sciatic nerve is pinched.

    This nerve starts at the level of the lower back and runs down the leg; when it is compressed, sciatica occurs. The functioning of the nerve worsens, pain, weakness, goose bumps appear.

    Pain in this health disorder is common. But when weakness is added to the pain, this is already an alarm signal for doctors and for you.

    Read also: 5 tips and exercises to strengthen your knees

    2.You cannot run

    Doctors often cannot understand what an athlete’s leg pain means: sciatica or not. The fact is that the signs of sciatica and piriformis syndrome are almost the same. But the second happens more often than the first.

    In both cases, the leg feels chills, pain, numbness. But these symptoms can talk about other diseases, so you need to see a doctor. If you ignore the “signals” that the body gives, the situation can worsen.

    It is believed that athletes are healthier people, but they too should not ignore pain or discomfort .However, it is better to raise a false alarm than be out of order for a long time.

    3. You feel pain

    Pain is a very important symptom of sciatica. But when you go to a doctor, you need to describe your pain clearly and specifically. Just saying that your leg hurts is not enough.

    Pain can indicate different things, sciatica is just one of the versions.

    Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of “ Real Cause, Real Cure: The 9 root causes of the most common health problems and how to solve them ” and how to deal with them) tells you how to determine if you have sciatica:

    • Use your thumb to press the muscles of your lower back.
    • Try to find the points, pressing on which causes pain.
    • If the pain is felt as a small impulse going to the legs, it is very likely sciatica.

    4. “Test” for sciatica

    You need to lie down and stretch your legs. With the help of another person , lift leg (it should be extended and at an angle of thirty to seventy degrees to the floor). If this results in pain throughout your leg, especially behind the knee and in your toes, you have sciatica.

    It is desirable that a physiotherapist or doctor be an assistant during this test. Be aware that jerky or abnormal movements can worsen the situation and increase the pain .

    5. Other signs of sciatica

    Sciatica can not only cause pain in the back and leg (knee). Bowel and bladder problems may occur (it becomes difficult to control their activity). Doctors note that in this case, an urgent surgical operation may be required.

    American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery spokesman Alan Hilibrand claims that such situations are rare. However, if you feel that you are having trouble controlling bladder and bowel activity, consult your doctor right away because these problems can become chronic.