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What is the Connection Between Sciatica and Hip Pain?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Sciatica and hip pain are often associated with each other because the sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down each leg, which means the nerve passes near muscles that are connected to the hip. Very often, muscles in the hip that get tight or strained can cause compression on the sciatic nerve, which can lead to sciatica. Sciatica is a painful sensation — often a shooting pain — that can run anywhere from the lower back all the way down the back of the legs due to compression on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can, therefore, also cause hip pain.

While closely connected, sciatica and hip pain do not always come together. Hip injuries and muscle strains are possible without causing sciatica, and sciatica can certainly be felt in other places besides the hips. This nerve pain is common in the lower back, buttocks, thighs, the back of the knees, and calves, even sometimes as far down as the ankles. Even if the pain is not felt in the hip, however, it may be a hip muscle causing the problem; such pain is often felt in other places than where the nerve is actually being pinched.

When the two do coincide, the pinched or compressed nerve is, again, not necessarily in the hip. It might get pinched somewhere in the lower back, causing a painful sensation in the hip or legs; quite frequently, in fact, sciatic pain is caused by compression on the sciatic nerve due to a slipped or herniated disc in the spine. This compression can cause a painful sensation anywhere from the lower back on down to the ankles.

A lack of adequate flexibility and a lack of regular use of the hip muscles can cause sciatica and hip pain. Sitting for long periods of time, for example, increase the likelihood of sciatic nerve compression in the buttocks and hips. Sitting is a static position, meaning the muscles of the hips and lower back end up straining in the same position for long periods of time. The sciatic nerve can become pinched or compressed between tensed muscles, causing pain. Participating in a regular workout routine can help alleviate sciatic pain, and a core workout done regularly can strengthen and tone the muscles that support the spine, thereby avoiding conditions such as a slipped disc.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari , Former Writer
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.

Discussion Comments

By ZipLine — On May 03, 2013
I agree, it's difficult to know if hip pain has anything to do with sciatic nerve because the pain can resonate in different areas.
By burcidi — On May 03, 2013

@donasmrs-- It's difficult to tell without a physical examination and an MRI.

I had herniated disc and a pinched sciatic nerve because of it for several years and never knew. I was finally diagnosed when my doctor sent me for an MRI.

There are some physical symptoms that may imply a sciatic nerve problem though. Pain when resting and relief when walking is one and you already have that. If you can't bring your kneees/legs up while lying on your back, that's another symptom. If you feel sharp pain in your lower back when you sneeze or cough, and if you have pain or numbness down one leg, you might have a pinched nerve.

But like I said, you can only confirm if this is the cause of your hip pain symptoms after you are physically examined by a doctor and get an MRI.

By donasmrs — On May 02, 2013

How do I know if my hip pain is caused by a pinched or compressed sciatic nerve?

I've had hip pain for the past week. It's most painful when I'm sitting or sleeping. I find some relief when I walk slowly but I can't stand in one spot for a long time.

I've applied heat and cold and I'm taking pain relievers, but the pain isn't going away. Could it be a compressed sciatic nerve?

Dan Cavallari

Dan Cavallari

Former Writer

Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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