How sciatica and knee pain are related

How sciatica and knee pain are related

You may not think knee pain can be caused by your back, but with sciatica, think again. Since the sciatic nerve travels down from the lower back, it can affect the hips, buttocks, legs and feet — and in some cases, your knees.
Once you know how sciatica causes knee pain, you can step into action to get the relief you deserve.

Understanding how sciatica causes knee pain

It all starts with compression of your sciatic nerve — the longest and largest nerve in your body. Sciatic nerve compression can cause local and traveling pain, which can explain the shooting pain down one or both legs or other radiating symptoms you’re experiencing.

Sciatica and knee pain are also related because the pain you feel can change your stride. This can add pressure on the knee joints, wearing away joint cartilage and causing painful inflammation.

Other sciatic symptoms can include:


  • Pain that radiates through the buttocks and downward in one leg
  • Numbness or muscle weakness in the legs or toes
  • Tingling in the lower extremities
  • Hip pain

Your sciatica condition may be caused by severe muscle strain, injury or a degenerative spine condition like bulging disc.

Treatment options for sciatica and knee pain

Physical therapy and other conservative treatment methods can relieve sciatic pain and associated symptoms like knee pain. But don’t give up. If your symptoms persist after several weeks or months, you may not need traditional open back surgery.

If you want to avoid a hospital surgery and long recovery period, our minimally invasive outpatient procedures may be for you. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how we offer a safe and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures with a shorter recovery time.^

Request your free MRI review* to find out if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.

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