Understanding Lower Back Pain Caused by Sciatica

sciatica lower back pain

Lower back pain can be caused by a few things, including muscle strains, spinal injury and spine conditions. Nerve conditions are also related to lower back pain. If you have lower back pain, it may be related to symptoms of a nerve condition known as sciatica.

What is sciatica lower back pain?

Sciatica is the name given to symptoms of nerve pain along your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your lower back down into each leg, and all the way to the bottom of your feet.

When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed and painful, it is known as sciatica, and it may be the cause of lower back pain.

Symptoms of sciatica can include:

  • Chronic pain in either the left or right leg or buttock — Sciatica rarely affects both sides at the same time. This pain usually originates in the lower back and travels down into the legs.
  • Increased pain in your lower back, buttocks or legs when standing or sitting still — Sciatica pain may decrease when walking or lying down. This pain is usually sharp and fiery, not a dull ache.
  • Difficulty moving your leg or foot — With sciatica pain, moving, standing or walking may be difficult due to pain in the lower back and one of your legs.
  • Stinging or sharp pain in your toes — Depending on the pressure on the sciatic nerve in your back, you may feel pain as far down as your toes.

Treating sciatica lower back pain

If you’re experiencing pain related to the symptoms above, you should visit a medical professional immediately for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Medical professionals generally prefer nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, for sciatica and lower back pain.

Physical therapists, like our team at Advent Physical Therapy, work with you to aid in stretching and strengthening muscles, ligaments and tendons around the spine. The goal is to relieve pressure from the compressed nerve, which may help reduce your pain.

At Advent Physical Therapy, our licensed physical therapists are experienced in working with sciatica-related pain. Contact Advent Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment at one of our 13 convenient locations across West Michigan.