Pain along the sciatic nerve, commonly called “sciatica”, is rarely due to something in the nerve itself, although rare sciatic nerve tumors can occur.  Most of the causes of “sciatica” are from an HNP pressing on one of the spinal nerves that form the sciatic when they join outside the spinal canal.

Pressure along the nerve usually does not increase sciatic pain.  And sciatic pain usually stops at the ankle – if pain goes into the foot, something wrong in the foot should be suspected, such as fasciitis or peripheral neuropathy.