Sciatica Symptoms and Medical Definition of Sciatica

Sciatica Symptoms
Sciatica Lumbar Spine MRI

I was surprised today to see that a popular internet search term in Google was for the random phrase: “sciatica more condition_symptoms”. Having seen some of the web pages for this search result I thought people looking for the answer to this question could get a some better information than what is currently available.

I believe people searching the internet for this key phrase are actually looking for a list of sciatica symptoms. So that is exactly what I have written below. I have also included the medical definition of sciatica. This term is so confusing as for a normal person it encompasses pain in the leg usually from a trapped nerve in back. For a chiropractor or medical doctor it is not an actual diagnosis, but more of a descriptive term for a painful leg. Hence the reason for the definition being included with the list of descriptive symptoms.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom and not an actual disease. This is an important statement to remember.

In the public eye sciatica is seen as an actual condition when it is actually just a way of describing a possible pinched nerve in the leg. Symptoms of sciatica are as a result of the irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the major nerve running from your lower back, down the back of your thigh into your lower leg and ending in the foot.

Medical Definition of Sciatica

Here are two official sciatica definitions:

Pain and tenderness at some points of the sciatic nerve, usually caused by a prolapsed intervertebral disk; sciatic neuralgia.


Any painful disorder extending from the hip down the back of the thigh and surrounding area.

The second definition is important “Any painful disorder extending from the hip down the back of the thigh and surrounding area“. Basically this means that sciatica can have be more than just an irritation to the sciatic nerve. It covers pain running down the back of the thigh for whatever reason.

List of Sciatica Symptoms

Here are some symptoms of a pinched nerve that you may experience if you think you have sciatica:

  • Buttock pain
  • Pain down the back of the leg
  • Pain around your hip
  • Hip pain
  • Pain in your lower leg
  • Calf pain
  • Pins and needles in your feet
  • Numb toes
  • Weakness of your leg
  • Buckling knee
  • Pain in your back when standing

This list is so long because sciatica symptoms can include any feeling from around from the lower back region, hip, thigh, upper leg, lower leg, ankle and foot.

It is best to always go see your local chiropractor or medical doctor for advise if you are experiencing any these symptoms. In the meantime you can also read my next list of sciatica pain relief exercises and treatments. I hope this helped answer the question you were looking for.

Image Credit: Some rights reserved by gruntzooki