4 doctors weighed in:

What is the difference between a sciatica (nerve) and a herniated disc or are they both the same thing?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management
2 doctors agree

In brief: Back & Leg Pain

Sciatica is pain in the distribution of the back & leg as a result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection.

In brief: Back & Leg Pain

Sciatica is pain in the distribution of the back & leg as a result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection.
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Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: See below

A disc herniation is a portion of a disc outside its normal confines while a sciatica is a radiculopathy which is pain over a nerve path caused by an irritation, pinching or compression of that nerve which could include a disc herniation, a cyst, a tumor or mass, a blood clot called a hematoma or spinal stenosis to name a few in the spine but there are also causes in the pelvis ;/or leg.

In brief: See below

A disc herniation is a portion of a disc outside its normal confines while a sciatica is a radiculopathy which is pain over a nerve path caused by an irritation, pinching or compression of that nerve which could include a disc herniation, a cyst, a tumor or mass, a blood clot called a hematoma or spinal stenosis to name a few in the spine but there are also causes in the pelvis ;/or leg.
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