Sciatic nerve pain … Really?

Published by : | December 3 2019

The sciatic nerve, that misunderstood nerve that makes a lot of people suffer. Did you know that it is not always responsible for the pain going down your leg? Here, we will demystify the famous pains associated with this nerve.


The sciatic nerve originates from the spinal cord and exits between the lumbar vertebrae (L3 to L5) and the sacral ones (S1 to S3). It passes through the pelvis, then under the piriformis muscle to descend behind the thigh to the knee. Then, it separates into 2 branches; the tibial nerve which goes down behind the leg to the sole of the foot and the common fibular nerve which passes more on the side of the leg.

It is understandable that there may be several places where the nerve can be compressed, which can lead to a multitude of different symptoms, but quite similar.

There may be direct compression on the nerve either by a disc between the vertebrae, or at the exit of the nerve of the spine and even by its passage under or in the piriformis muscle. In the latter case, the symptoms will be more present by sitting for a long time, especially with legs crossed.

However, there are several other structures in the body that reproduce symptoms that go down the legs. Indeed, there are certain points in each muscle of the body that can project pain away from said muscle. This is called a trigger point. The muscles of the buttocks often tend to radiate pain that goes down into the posterior leg, as can be seen in the picture with the projected pain shown in red. The pelvic joints can also bring this kind of symptoms when they are irritated, restricted of movement and inflamed.

Obviously, if you have pain that goes down one leg, you do not have to try to determine the cause of the pain alone. Chiropractors have experience and training  that allows them to diagnose and determine more precisely at what level the problem is.

So for all leg pain problems or if you are only curious to know more about it, do not hesitate to meet us at the clinic!

Looking forward to meeting you!