Sciatica – Not a Diagnosis

I have lost count over the years the amount of times that a patient has told me that they have sciatica.

Sciatica is not a diagnosis but a symptom. Another structure is compressing on the sciatic nerve which causes the leg pain. Such structures could be a disc bulge, a degenerative disc, an inflamed joint or muscle.


Usual sciatic symptoms include:

Low back pain radiating into the back of the leg

Pain is worse for sitting

Burning or tingling down the leg

Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot

A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up





Another point to bear in mind is that often patients will present with pain in the back of the leg but when we test them for sciatica they do not have any of the characteristics associated with it.

This I class as not “True Sciatica” as in this instance it is usually a restriction in the mechanics of the back which is causing the leg pain.


What does it mean?

If we think of it logically, we are like any mechanical machine, we are only as good as our weakest part. Muscles attach to bones via tendons and so if the joints of our lower back are not working efficiently then the muscles of the lower kinetic chain will be over worked and therefore cause imbalances which can lead to pain in the lower limbs.

At Joy Lane Clinic we have over 15 years’ experience in dealing with causes of low back and leg pain so if you are in pain why not call us on 01227 266439/01303 257801 and let us help you on the road to recovery!