8 doctors weighed in:
How different is sciatica pain from back pain?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. Todd Thompson
Neurosurgery
5 doctors agree
In brief: Different symptoms
Back pain and sciatica may be related, or can occur independently.
Sciatica describes the pain that radiates down the back of the thigh to the leg, most often due to a herniated disc in the low back compressing/irritating a nerve that contributes to the sciatic nerve. There are other causes of sciatica. There are also many different causes of back pain.

In brief: Different symptoms
Back pain and sciatica may be related, or can occur independently.
Sciatica describes the pain that radiates down the back of the thigh to the leg, most often due to a herniated disc in the low back compressing/irritating a nerve that contributes to the sciatic nerve. There are other causes of sciatica. There are also many different causes of back pain.
Dr. Todd Thompson
Dr. Todd Thompson
Thank
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management
In brief: Back causes Sciatica
Usually you start with Back pain from a herniated disk or other pathology in the spine which then results in pain down the leg which is known as sciatica.
Many times they go hand in hand...

In brief: Back causes Sciatica
Usually you start with Back pain from a herniated disk or other pathology in the spine which then results in pain down the leg which is known as sciatica.
Many times they go hand in hand...
Dr. Qamar Khan
Dr. Qamar Khan
Thank
Dr. Carl Spivak
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
In brief: Location of the pain
Sciatica can have both back pain and leg pain, but the leg pain is usually equal or greater then the back pain.
Sciatica usually starts in the back and shoots down the back of the leg to the foot with numbness in the two little toes and weakness walking tip toes.

In brief: Location of the pain
Sciatica can have both back pain and leg pain, but the leg pain is usually equal or greater then the back pain.
Sciatica usually starts in the back and shoots down the back of the leg to the foot with numbness in the two little toes and weakness walking tip toes.
Dr. Carl Spivak
Dr. Carl Spivak
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Board Certified, Neurology
48 years in practice
55M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors