Strange as it may initially seem, a frequent culprit in pain that is located in the butt and radiates down one or both legs is actually the sciatic nerve, which originates in the lower back. Sciatica, or pain caused by irritation of or interference with the sciatic nerve, is relatively common.

Although the pain is not generally felt in the back itself, the sciatic nerve is a very large bundle of nerves that comes out of the spinal column in the lower back just above the pelvic bone. The sciatic nerve splits, and runs down each buttock and the back of each leg through the foot to the toes. The sciatic nerve can run under or through the muscles in the butt.   If anything interferes with, or causes irritation of this nerve, it can create sciatic symptoms.

Sciatic pain can be a weakness, tingling, or an electric shock sensation. If there is weakness in the leg or foot, it can sometimes be bad enough to make it difficult to move. Sciatic pain is typically worse when sitting, when standing for prolonged period, or when rising to a stand from a low sitting position.

It’s important to know that sciatica is actually a symptom of another problem, and not a diagnosis in itself. There can be many causes of sciatic pain, including herniated discs, stenosis, arthritis, a pinched nerve, or the sciatic nerve being trapped by spasming of the piriformis muscle, which is located in the butt.

If you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica, we recommend that you make an appointment to visit your doctor to diagnose the underlying cause of the sciatic pain, and discuss your treatment options.