Is that pain in the butt actually a pain in the back?

Is that pain in the butt actually a pain in the back?

Source: - Medline Plus

What is Sciatica?

  • Pain along the course of the Sciatic nerve that extends down the back of the thigh, lower leg and into the foot

What is the Sciatic Nerve?

  • Largest nerve in the body. Originates from the lower part of the spine runs between the sit bones and hip underneath the buttock muscles down the back of the leg and branches into different nerves at the knee.

Maybe it's back pain... Maybe it's back pain... – Photo Source

How can Sciatica occur?

There are a number of ways Sciatica can originate:

  • Irritation anywhere along the course of the nerve
  • Joint inflammation
  • Pressure on nerve from a herniated disc in the spine
  • Spine degeneration

Leg pain can originate in the back Leg pain can originate in the back – Photo Source


Pain in the back of the leg Burning or tingling down the leg Leg or foot weakness Leg or foot Numbness Pain on one side of calf Pain can vary between dull, aching, sharp, shooting and burning


A thorough Physiotherapy history and assessment should be able to find the most probable source of the nerve irritation. Following this a variety of techniques such as exercise, electrical modalities, or dry needling can be used to reduce the pressure on the nerve. Once pain relief has been achieved then further exercises are aimed at restoring flexibility and strength A small portion of sciatic cases will not respond to conservative treatment and may require surgery.

Reference List

  1. Kendall, F. P. (1993) Muscles Testing and Function. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.
  2. Kisner, C & Colby, L. A. (2007) Therapeutic Exercise. Philadelphia: Davis Company

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