Sciatica is a pain that radiates from the lower spine of the buttock down to the back of the leg. The pain varies from one person to another. While some feel a mild ache, others may have excruciating pain. To others, they may feel numbness or muscle weakness in the affected leg. Mild sciatica may go away on its own but if the pain lasts for more than a week, it can become severe so you might be advised to get immediate medical care.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica doesn’t happen to anyone without a valid reason. Some people are more at risk of sciatica due to several risk factors such as:
- Age. As you age, there might be changes in your spine such as herniated disks and bone spurs which can lead to sciatica.
- Obesity. When you are obese, your spine may have to bear your weight which can cause stress. Spine stress can trigger sciatica.
- Daily posture. If your job requires you to carry heavy loads, drive a motor vehicle for an extended period of time or sit for a prolonged period of time due to work in the office, you have a higher risk of developing sciatica.
- Diabetes. This health condition affects your blood sugar level which can increase your chance of experiencing nerve damage.
What about Knee Pain?
Do you often experience knee pain? Perhaps you automatically think that it is because of a knee joint problem. While it might be the most common case, it might not always be the exact reason. The discomfort you are feeling can be a knee condition or it can be a result of a pinched nerve in your lower back. You might start to ask if sciatica causes knee pain. Well, it is possible and your knee pain might be due to sciatica.
How Sciatica Causes Knee Pain
The nerve that signals the sensation of pain to the legs and feet are in the lower back. As time passes by, or due to injury, the discs between the vertebrae can bulge out causing it to press the nerves. When it happens, the pain is often experienced in the knee. It doesn’t happen at the cause of the pain but rather, at another location. The pain signal being sent causes this due to the network of interconnecting nerves which can be sensitive to pain.
Does sciatica cause knee pain? Yes, it does and only your physician can diagnose it for you. It can be done through a series of physical exams and checking your health history. If the nerve that travels through your thigh and knee is pinched, you may feel several pains such as knee pain, numbness in your thigh, and hip weakness. However, knee pain might not be caused by sciatica so a careful examination is required first to determine the true cause of the knee pain.
Pain in your knee can be caused by a pinched nerve in your back or sciatica or it can be just a normal knee pain caused by an injury. Visiting your doctor can help you determine and address the issue so you can get rid of the pain quickly.