Is That Pain Down Your Leg Sciatica?

Pain Down Your Leg SciaticaDo you have a sharp pain that frequently radiates through your buttocks, down the outside of your leg, right into your foot? If so, you might ask me as so many others have: Is sciatica causing my leg pain?

That’s an easy one. No.

How can you say that without ever meeting me you ask? Let me explain.

The term sciatica can describe the symptoms you are feeling. But it doesn’t describe what causes those symptoms.

Mere semantics? Not really. Because ending your sciatic pain doesn’t require finding out what your pain feels like (the symptoms, called sciatica). It requires finding out what is causing it (the underlying condition).

So, what causes sciatica?

Glad you asked. But let’s first clear up what sciatica actually is with a more formal definition to make sure we’re on the same page.

Sciatica is the symptom of radiating pain felt in the lower back, buttocks, hamstring, back of the knee, outside of the calf, and / or the foot. It may also be associated with muscular weakness, numbness, or even an electrical tingly feeling. Yep, tingly is a technical term.

The underlying cause of sciatica is generally the compression or irritation of either the actual sciatic nerve or one of the major lumbar nerves (L4 or L5) or sacral nerves (S1, S2, or S3).

Outside of trauma or the very rare spinal tumor, most cases of sciatica are caused by one of these four underlying conditions: a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or piriformis syndrome.

Sometimes women experience sciatica during pregnancy as the enlarged uterus presses against the sciatic nerve and postural dysfunctions associated with carrying the extra weight pulls their spine out of proper alignment.

When it comes to sciatica, the right question isn’t “Is sciatica causing my leg pain?” Instead ask, “Is my leg pain sciatica?” This short video will help you visualize what may be causing your sciatica so you can quickly treat it properly and end your sciatic pain.

Filed Under: SciaticaJesse Cannone
Written By: March 8,2010

10 thoughts on “Is That Pain Down Your Leg Sciatica?”

  1. JUDITH ADAMS says:


  2. Joel says:

    Prevention is key, that’s why I like what you have to say about sciatica and it’s causes. Good post.

  3. Vesta says:

    Each bit of information regarding my sciatica pain is a link in the chain of finding (some) relief. Much of my time is searching, trying
    different techniques, whatever I’m led to, to find some relief. Your site is the most comprehensive site on the web. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart” for all the good information your site has for sufferers such as myself!

  4. Dotty Beier says:

    Why can’t I find anything on you site about the pain from Scoliosis? Mine has gotten severe but you never mention anything about it.

  5. Joyce says:

    I am wondering if any of the above “posters” have tried going to a Chiropractor? I am presently going to one and so far it’s helped more than I could have hoped for. I still have some pain, but it’s manageable whereas before I was out of my mind with pain. Good Luck.

  6. Odette says:

    Hello I find your website and you send me your book and 2 CD and try again exsercise, because I have sciatic pain on right leg from back to feet I did your excercice again and feel better know, is very painful, but is worst to do exsercice, afters we feel a lot better, since I am young i have back lower pain.
    I appreciate a lot for your help and thank again for the book with 2 CD.
    You help a lot of people to get rid of back pain.

  7. Elizabeth Curlin says:

    I have sciatica pain but the pain is mostly very tight muscles in both buttocks. Have had a fusion L4&5. Iplay a lot of golf and have moved the vertebra. I have done all the stretches of the legs for 11/2’monthe with no relults. Heating pad worn all day keeps the pain down.domyou have any other suggestions to get more relief?

  8. Admin says:

    Hi Elizabeth, We would like to suggest our free back pain book -The 7 Day Back Pain Cure which has information regarding different treatment options. It also covers pain relief methods plus other useful aspects to help. You can find out more via the link below

    Thank you
    Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  9. Gary de Freitas says:

    You say that pain down the leg from the buttocks down to the foot may not be sciatica.
    What then can it be? I don’t really trouble with my back, the pain is not in the back its in the buttocks and down the leg. What can it be if its not sciatica. I have been trying your exercises but nothing seems to help. I am now using pain killers anf B vitamin tablets but even that does not help. What must I do?

  10. Steve says:

    Gary de Freitas, What we are saying is that “What you are feeling is called Sciatica but Sciatica is not a condition but rather sciatica is a symptom of a condition, in other words, what you are feeling has a root cause and the root cause can be one of four things, click here to read a more comprehensive article:


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