Can Sciatica Cause Knee Pain? And Other FAQs About Sciatica
Can sciatica cause knee pain?
Knee pain can be caused by numerous factors, including knee injuries, knee osteoarthritis, and other underlying medical conditions. But what most people don’t realize is that knee pain can also be caused by lower back problems, specifically sciatica, and sciatic nerve pain. Sciatica is a type of nerve pain that originates in the lower back. It can lead to pins-and-needles sensations, numbness in the legs, and radiating pain that travels down one or both legs.
Since the sciatic nerve travels down the back of the knee and controls the surrounding muscles, sciatic nerve problems can also lead to knee pain. The muscles around your knee joints are controlled by the sciatic nerve in your lower back. When the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, you may experience increased knee pain or knee weakness. As such, sciatica can definitely cause knee pain, lower back pain, and other types of pain.
Knee Pain Doctor NYC is a state-of-the-art medical center led by highly skilled, board-certified interventional knee pain doctors in New York. Our knee pain doctors use cutting-edge diagnostic tools to identify the root cause of knee pain, following which they curate a personalized knee pain treatment plan, which may consist of knee injections, nerve blocks, physical therapy, or more. Our knee pain doctors carefully determine if your knee pain is caused by sciatica before curating a treatment plan.
You can find our knee pain doctors in Midtown Manhattan or the Financial District. Our Midtown Manhattan knee pain treatment center is located at 290 Madison, a short walk from the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. Please schedule an appointment to explore your knee pain and sciatic treatment options in New York.
What are the symptoms of knee pain caused by sciatica?
If you have knee pain, it’s important to determine if your knee pain originates elsewhere. The following are some of the common symptoms of knee pain caused by sciatica:
- You have a warm sensation with sharp pain in the front, back, or side of the knee
- You have a dull aching sensation in the front, back, or side of the knee
- Your knees can’t bear weight or struggle to bear weight
- Your knees give out or buckle over
- Your knees are extremely weak
- Your knees can’t straighten comfortably
- You also have pain in your buttocks, the back of the thighs, calves, or your feet
What are the possible causes of sciatica?
If your knee pain is caused by sciatica, your knee pain doctor will have to identify the potential root cause of sciatic nerve pain. Sciatica is a medical condition wherein the sciatic nerve that travels from the lower back down the back of both legs is damaged or irritated. You may experience sciatic nerve pain because of medical conditions that affect your nerve roots, joints, soft tissues, spinal discs, and muscles.
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L4 radiculopathy is a medical condition wherein your L4 spinal nerve root is compressed because of spinal stenosis or disc herniation in the lower back. When the spinal discs in the lower back get damaged, the surrounding tissues may pinch the L4 nerve root, leading to painful signals that travel down to your thighs and calves.
You may have knee pain caused by sciatica pain because of tight hamstrings, i.e., the group of muscles at the back of your thighs. When your hamstrings are tightened because of overuse injuries or excessive exertion, your lower back becomes unstable, leading to increased stress in the spinal joints. Over time, the changes in your lower spinal anatomy may pinch the surrounding sciatic nerve, leading to radiating knee pain.
Can other medical conditions imitate the symptoms of sciatica knee pain?
In some cases, you may have the symptoms of sciatica-induced knee pain because of other underlying medical conditions. Your knee pain doctor will have to perform a thorough diagnosis and evaluation to ensure your knee pain is caused by sciatic nerve pain. The following are medical conditions that may cause knee pain that resembles sciatica.
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L3 radiculopathy refers to a compression of the L3 nerve root located in the mid-back region because of a lumbar disc herniation or lumbar spinal stenosis. The L3 nerve root isn’t a sciatic nerve root, but it can also lead to knee pain and knee weakness. The symptoms of L3 nerve pain also include pain in the groin, the side of the hips, and the front of the thighs.
Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome
Patellofemoral stress syndrome, also known as runner’s knees, is a medical condition that causes sharp, burning sensations around the edges of your kneecaps. When the patella (kneecap) rubs against the femur (thigh bone), you experience increasing knee pain that may resemble the symptoms of sciatica pain. But it doesn’t lead to pain in the thighs or calves.
How to diagnose and treat sciatica?
Our knee pain treatment doctors use cutting-edge diagnostic tools to identify and treat the root cause of knee pain. Your knee pain doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, ask about your lifestyle and frequency of workouts, and administer imaging tests. After diagnosing the root cause of knee pain, the doctor will curate a personalized, minimally invasive treatment plan, including rest, physical therapy, compression, epidural injections, facet joint injections, nerve blocks, and other treatments.
Sciatica pain: what doctor to see?
If you have sciatica pain or knee pain caused by sciatica, you need to see an interventional pain doctor. Our knee pain doctors have advanced training in minimally invasive pain treatments that address the root cause of your painful symptoms and ensure long-lasting results. Instead of simply masking your symptoms, we focus on improving your overall health and improving mobility. We encourage you to visit our knee pain treatment doctors in New York City.
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