4 doctors weighed in:

What is the difference between chronic back pain and sciatica?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Kayvanfar
Sports Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Refer to answer

Any pain lasting more than three weeks is called chronic pain.
Sciatica is the pain caused pressure on the sciatic nerve roots in the spine from external compression.

In brief: Refer to answer

Any pain lasting more than three weeks is called chronic pain.
Sciatica is the pain caused pressure on the sciatic nerve roots in the spine from external compression.
Dr. John Kayvanfar
Dr. John Kayvanfar
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Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management

In brief: Well

Not a lot of difference unless the chronic back pain is due to other sources such as arthritis of the spine or muscle irritation.
Likely if its chronic, sciatica is a big part of your back pain. Remember Sciatica does not have to go down the leg, it can cause back pain as a sole symptom.

In brief: Well

Not a lot of difference unless the chronic back pain is due to other sources such as arthritis of the spine or muscle irritation.
Likely if its chronic, sciatica is a big part of your back pain. Remember Sciatica does not have to go down the leg, it can cause back pain as a sole symptom.
Dr. Qamar Khan
Dr. Qamar Khan
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Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: Several

Chronic when referred to pain is pain lasting longer than 3 months.
Back pain can have multiple causes and may or may not be associated with any pain that will travel down a leg past the knee which would be termed a sciatica. Sciatica most commonly occurs due to disc herniation compressing one or more nerves that form the sciatic nerve in the leg. There can be other causes of sciatica.

In brief: Several

Chronic when referred to pain is pain lasting longer than 3 months.
Back pain can have multiple causes and may or may not be associated with any pain that will travel down a leg past the knee which would be termed a sciatica. Sciatica most commonly occurs due to disc herniation compressing one or more nerves that form the sciatic nerve in the leg. There can be other causes of sciatica.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
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