1 doctor weighed in:

How can you tell if you have a herniated disc or if its your sciatica nerve? I have sever pain in my lower back into my buttock area.

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Mark Weston
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: MRI

If the MRI is negative for disc herniation then consider piriformis syndrome which comes with buttocks tenderness .
Disc herniation would have numbness and tingling and pain below knee and increase in leg pain with straightening the affected leg while seated while herniation frequently cause foot numbness and weakness piriformis syndrome rarely does classic sciatica is leg pain

In brief: MRI

If the MRI is negative for disc herniation then consider piriformis syndrome which comes with buttocks tenderness .
Disc herniation would have numbness and tingling and pain below knee and increase in leg pain with straightening the affected leg while seated while herniation frequently cause foot numbness and weakness piriformis syndrome rarely does classic sciatica is leg pain
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