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Knee discomfort that cannot be attributed to a physical injury could be the result of an issue in your lower back. Nerves that originate in your lower spine activate the muscles around your knees. Irritation or compression of these nerves at their spinal origin causes sciatica symptoms, which include knee pain and/or paralysis.

Continue reading to discover about how sciatica knee pain may feel, as well as frequent examples of lower back and other diseases that mirror sciatica knee pain.

Sciatica symptoms may include knee pain.

When you have sciatica, you may suffer the following knee symptoms:

    A warm feeling, intense pain, or dull discomfort in the front, side, or back of the knee

    Impossibility of bearing weight on the knee

    Knee buckling or giving way

    Weakness when attempting to straighten your leg by extending the knee

When your sciatica symptoms include knee pain, you may also suffer pain in your buttock, thigh, calf, and/or foot. Because the pain generally always affects one leg at a time, sciatica knee pain usually does not impact both knees at the same time. 

Sciatica is frequently caused by a medical issue affecting the lower back. These underlying problems may have an impact on your spinal discs, nerve roots, joints, or soft tissues like muscles.

Radiculopathy – L4

If you have sciatica, compression of the L4 spinal nerve root (L4 radiculopathy) is a possible cause of your knee problems. A herniated disc or spinal stenosis in your lower back are two common causes of nerve root compression.

When the L4 nerve root is damaged, you may feel pain in your thigh and calf.

Hamstring strain

Tightness in your hamstrings, the group of muscles in the back of your thigh, is another possible cause of sciatica knee pain. When your hamstrings are tight, your lower back’s stability suffers, the typical curvature of your lower spine is disturbed, and stresses accumulate inside your spinal joints. 2

These alterations may result in lower back discomfort and stiffness, as well as pain radiating from your lower back into your knee and leg.

If your knee discomfort is caused by sciatica, your doctor will usually treat the underlying reason. Self-care and medical management are widely used to alleviate sciatica symptoms. Pain-relieving drugs, supervised physical therapy and exercise programmes, and/or epidural steroid injections are popular medical therapies. 

Knee pain that may be mistaken for sciatica

It is possible that your knee pain is caused by anything other than sciatica, such as a nerve or joint injury, yet it feels like sciatic nerve pain. Two such examples are provided below.

Radiculopathy – L4

Knee discomfort and weakness might be caused by a lumbar herniated disc or lumbar spinal stenosis that compresses the L3 nerve root in your mid-back region. You may also feel pain in your front thigh, side of your hip, and groyne area.

Patellofemoral stress syndrome 

Patellofemoral stress syndrome (runner’s knee), a disorder in which the kneecap (patella) improperly rubs against the end of the thigh bone (femur), may cause a sharp, burning feeling around the borders of your kneecap.

While this ailment does not usually produce pain in other areas of the body, such as the thigh or calf, the hot, burning feeling in the knee, as well as the resultant weakening, can be mistaken for sciatica.

Summary –

If your knee discomfort does not improve with self-care, interferes with your everyday activities, or worsens over time, see a doctor for a diagnostic workup. Several back disorders that cause sciatica can also cause knee pain, so be sure to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms. This will help your doctor locate the source of the underlying cause.


Know more about Ayurvedic Spinal Disk & Radiculopathy Treatments.