I have seen a bunch of threads on Sciatica problems, and I am sure this is what I have, but for me the pain is not in my back, but in my right butt, and I feel it down my leg.

I have been running very regularly now for about 18mths, and just completed my first Marathon (in 3:17 :-)). I’m loving it, but now, and shortly before the marathon, I stared to get this pain.

Is this sciatica? Should I lay off for a while? After the Marathon I did rest for 2 weeks (a couple of very small runs, that’s all.) What is the best way to deal with it?

Thanks for you help.


  • Could be sciatica. I suffered really badly and the worst of my pain was in my butt.

    Get it checked out.

    My docs fobbed me off with painkillers when I really needed physio. Ended up having surgery on my back! Don't go there is you can help it!
  • I'd get it checked out, I was had groin pains which was eventually traced to my back and sciatica. The nerves in the back extend into butt and upper leg.

    Previously I'd rested up for threefour weeks and noticed no improvement at all.
    Well worth seeing a pysio.
  • Again I had similar - mainly bum and groin- but also extending to my knee. An osteopath sorted me out. Id go and see someone
  • Hi Paul,

    I have just come back from the physio today with the same sort of problems to you.
    I have a constant nagging pain in my right buttock and the top of the right calf, non in my back.
    Setting off running is painful but then it calms down only to return later and react the next day.
    I have been diagnosed with facet joint arthrosis in the L4/L5 vertebrae, this basically means that the facet joint has slight closed in and is compressing the nerve, this radiates the pain down the leg.

    I have to lay off running for 6 weeks and do certain daily exercise to open up the facet joint.

    Sciatica is a general term for back/buttock/leg pain but you get pain in different areas depending which nerve root is being compressed.
    So I suggest you find a decent physio and report your exact symptoms and they should be able to identify the problem.
    But do it before it gets any worse otherwise you may do more damage to the nerve.

    Hope this helps.
  • Same here back pain at start of the year cleared up but then started getting a pain down the leg after approx 1 mile. Physio has helped and also plenty stretching before hand. Normally Manage to run mine off or end up taking a couple of Nurophen.Hope you get sorted
  • Thanks to every one. StuT, the symptoms you describe are identical to what I'm getting, including the top of my calf. I'm not sure I like the idea of no running for six weeks! But I guess I may have to.

    I will go and see someone this week, can you describe the exercise that the physio asked you do?

    Thanks again.

  • See also the thread on piriformis, it's very similar. The sciatic nerve can run directly through the piriformis muscle, so any tension/aggravation in the piriformis will in turn irritate the sciatic nerve.

    Best go to a professional to get a complete diagnosis and relevant exercises to aid your problem, good luck!
  • Do I have Sciatica?

    I'm a beginner runner. My fitness isn't too bad, but I can't run to save my life. I managed to run about 27 minutes the other day which was good for me, and then 30 minutes a few days later.

    Anyway, yesterday I went for a run. After about 8 minutes my back started hurting. My VERY lower back. This is a regular problem I get when running.

    After about 12 minutes of trying to run through it, I had to stop. It felt like my back was going to snap off, it felt very stiff too.

    Where it hurts

    At the very base of my back, just above my bum area. Also slightly to the sides of the central back too.

    Any ideas appreciated, as I am worried, disappointed, etc..
  • That sounds like you may have tight glutes ie tight bum muscles. I am currently trying to stretch myself out of the same problem. Tight muscles can pull on your lower back. In fact when I feel my lower back ache now I can generally stretch myself out of it.

    As a newish runner- have you been streching properly after each run?

    I dont think I can describe the stretches that i do - sorry - but I bet some one else alreday has- or has a link to glute stretches

    This by the way is my non medical opinion -

  • Thanks jegsy. It doesn't feel like my glutes, but maybe it is.

    It just feels very very stiff and achey.
  • Hi - I too am getting the exact pains of Sciatica - I went for a 10 mile run yest erday and afterwards (and worse today) the top of my bum cheek hamstring and calf are twinges. My foot also feels slightly 'droopy' - hope that makes sense???

    Anyway, after reading this thread am wondering whether a osteopath or physio is best - both are expensive and so I don't want to choose the wrong one to go see!

     Any advice is appreciated


  • Go and see a sport massage therapist to work through the piriformis muscle. This can often become tight ans swollen putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. This then produces the same syptoms as sciatica. One massage from a good therapsit should treat this. I had the same probelm and after one session it was fine. Look up piriformis syndrome for more info.
  • Hey

    I have the same problem although not quite as bad. I stopped running basically! But the problem only started 2 weeks before my first half marathon so I struggled through that and have.t done more than half an hour since.

    I found self massage and stretching definately eased it.

    Have a look at this page about sciatica I found it useful. 

  • Sounds like you have sciatic nerve problems I have just come back from the doctors, totally gutted as I have a marathon to run next weekend. My pain starts in my lef hip joint travels down to the knee and then into the foot. arrgh.  Been told to do the bridge stretch and lie flat when possible and try some heat on it!!!

    Take gentle runs, avoiding up and down hills, it can also take weeks to heel!!!!

    Check  out sciatic websites as they show some good stretches to do.

    Good luck

  • Same general problems here.  Went to a chiropractor. L5S1 disk degenration.  He said quit running.  Not ready for that. Manifested in buttock, hip, groin, pain all the way down the leg at different times.  Ran through it prudently.  Your hip or buttick really isn't sore or injured,  the nerve in your back is basically pinched so this is all refererred pain.  As long as you can maintain decent form I think you can run through it.  if it causes your form to deteriorate you do need a break and some form of treatment.  Bad form, running with a hitch, a limp, will cause a problem elsewhere.

  • Hi all

    looking for a bit of advice, I've had sciatic pain and numbness for about a year now after a herniated disc, my back seems fine now and I've kept up running on the treadmill and used a crosstrainer to try and keep up my stamina, but I cant even run a mile on the road without pain when I can easily do 10 pain free on the treadmill, my right foot seems to be wobbly and turns inwards and while I seem to be able to force it straight on the treadmill, it doesnt work outside.

    I've seen a couple of physios and  an osteopath and am doing all the recommended stretches, but I would really like to get back to running outside, I should mention that I get the same pain after walking a few miles outside.I wondered if anyone knew of a way to strap the foot or a shoe insert that would give me more stability on that leg, , or if that would be a bad idea?


  • I am wondering if I could have trapped a nerve as I had numbness in one calf and have been suffering with general numbness in both legs and have been unable to run as normal., but I do not get any pain or tightness in my back. I am recovering from iron deficiency however so it maybe linked with that, I've been taking iron supplenments for 6 weeks now and the symptoms are improving very slowly. I've got to see my GP in two weeks and will mention the possibility of a trapped nerve.



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