How is sciatica related to knee pain?

sciatica

When the sciatic nerve is pinched

Severe pain in the lower back and legs often turns out to be "sciatica". Every year around 120,000 people suffer from the symptoms caused by the pinched sciatic nerve. Those affected will not forget this back pain anytime soon, as it can stretch from the lumbar vertebrae to the legs. In technical jargon, the clinical picture is called sciatica.

Sciatica: what is it?

"Nervus ischiadicus" is the technical term for the sciatic nerve, the longest and thickest nerve in the body. It starts in the buttock region and ends in the foot. From there, the sciatic nerve can transmit stimuli to the brain via the spinal cord or send movement impulses from the brain to the legs. If pressure is exerted on the sciatic nerve, for example from surrounding tissue, it is called a pinched nerve. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms and restrict movement in the back and legs.

Causes: why do you get sciatic pain?

A pinched sciatic nerve can result from a variety of causes. These include:

  • muscular tension
  • Blockages of the vertebral bodies
  • a protruding disc or a herniated disc
  • Illnesses and injuries

Too little exercise, physical work beyond the limit, internal tension and wear and tear of the spine are also factors that make themselves felt in the back. For example, it has a monotonous effect and improper sitting at the computer sooner or later on the posture. This has unfavorable consequences for the spine. If it is overused, muscles can become tense or vertebral bodies blocked.

Age-related or stress-related wear also does not pass the spine without a trace - a painful herniated disc is possible, in which the gelatinous nucleus partially emerges. If an intervertebral disc presses on the sciatic nerve, movement impulses and the sensitivity of the leg can be impaired. A herniated disc can also trigger lumbago, which can occur in combination with a pinched sciatic nerve.

So are some Illness or injury Known for pressing on the delicate nerve zones of the sciatica. Examples are:

  • Lyme disease
  • Herpes
  • Abscesses
  • Bruising
  • Tumors or degeneration of the vertebral joints

If you have first-time or repeated sciatica symptoms, have the cause clarified by a doctor. Don't worry too much beforehand. The severity of the pain is not necessarily related to the severity or the presence of an illness.

Symptoms: What symptoms does a pinched sciatic nerve cause?

  • Lower back pain is typical with a pinched sciatic nerve. They can radiate into the leg and sometimes even to the big toe.
  • Sciatica pain feels burning, electrifying, or stabbing.
  • The affected regions may also tingle or be numb (pins and needles).
  • Pain when going to the toilet is another indication of sciatica symptoms.
  • Sciatica pain occasionally occurs at the same time as lumbago (lumbago). It manifests itself through sudden and severe back pain.

The symptoms of a pinched sciatic nerve automatically force the affected person into a relieving posture and are aggravated by body reactions such as sneezing or coughing. Due to the evasive posture, the muscles tense, so that the symptoms intensify and any excessive movement hurts. Often the characteristic symptoms increase at night.

Diagnosis: how does the doctor recognize sciatica?

The doctor can find out whether it is a pinched sciatic nerve in the lumbar area with a simple test Lasègue test. The patient lies in the most relaxed supine position for the examination. The doctor raises one leg in a straight position. If severe pain is felt in the thigh region and buttocks at a 45-degree angle, this typically indicates a pinched nerve in the lumbar area. The sciatic pain radiates from the back into the leg, and it is not uncommon that it even shoots beyond the knee region.

If further symptoms are observed and the sciatica symptoms are associated with paralysis or bladder and bowel disorders, for example, further examinations are necessary. A herniated disc may pinch the sciatic nerve. With the help of imaging procedures such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, the doctor can assess whether an operation should be considered.

Treatment: what helps with sciatica?

Sciatica pain is uncomfortable. But with patience and the right measures, they can be evaporated. Don't worry and reduce stress levels. Because Stress makes pain worse. You shouldn't just endure sciatica pain, but actively alleviate it. Because untreated, the pain goes into Pain memory a. In other words: Avoid the development of chronic pain by taking targeted measures against the pain. Otherwise the pain will be imprinted in the nerve lines and will later be present without a cause.

Typical applications are:

  • Pain relieving drugs with the active ingredients ibuprofen, paracetamol or diclofenac
  • herbal medicine with devil's claw
  • Heat applications such as heat cushions, heat patches or heat balm
  • Cold therapy
  • physiotherapy
  • Massages
  • acupuncture
  • Injection at the nerve root if pain persists

In addition to the application of heat, cold can also be a helpful home remedy for sciatica pain. ACold therapy blocks the transmission of pain. To do this, place a gel or ice pack on the affected area at a temperature of 10 to 15 degrees. Cool the affected area for about 3 minutes. Repeat the cold treatment several times a day. a popular one Home remedies for sciatica pain the devil's claw. The active ingredient harpagoside inhibits inflammation and relieves pain.

Our product tips for sciatica:Paracetamol-ratiopharm® 500 mg tablets | Diclofenac Heumann Gel | Pharmacist Dr.Imhoff’s Arnica Pain-Fluid-S | Teufelskralle-ratiopharm 480 mg film-coated tablets | circulin Teufelskralle muscle and joint gel | Kytta warming balm | CAPSICOLLE heating patch 12 × 18 cm | Self-adhesive heat pad

Finally helps acupuncture proven for sciatic pain. The needles relieve muscle spasms and tension in the lower back and stimulate blood circulation.

You can provide additional support for the sciatica treatment yourself with a few measures. When lying down, you relieve the spine by raising your lower legs with a pillow so that your knees and hips are at right angles to each other.

However, you shouldn't allow your back to rest too much. Exercise is important for strengthening muscles and ligaments. There are special ones to sit more back-friendly Seating aids, which activate the core muscles and support the spine in its natural posture.

Usually no surgery is necessary for sciatica symptoms. The type and course of treatment will be agreed with the doctor.


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As of: 07/31/2020

For reasons of better legibility, the male form is used in the text for personal designations. It goes without saying, however, that the information relates to members of both sexes.