If you have a stabbing butt pain only, can this be caused by sciatic nerve problems?

Imagine walking around in the house or at a store, or standing in line, when suddenly a stabbing pain surges through your rear-end.

This happens from time to time, and there are no other symptoms. The pain occurs only in your buttocks.

“Stabbing-type sciatic pain indicates the sciatic nerve has been pinched, which can be caused by acute injury or repetitive micro-trauma,” says Dr. Jeff Langmaid, DC, founder/owner of The Evidence Based Chiropractor, LLC, in Tampa, FLA, a research-based marketing and practice growth company that serves thousands of chiropractors across the world.

“It doesn’t have to be limited to the buttocks,” continues Dr. Langmaid. “It can carry down to the leg, then calf and down to the foot. Sciatic pain can run across through the entire sciatic nerve, although some patients only feel it in one or two places.

“It doesn’t have to just be pain, but can include burning, tingling and the electric leg shock. Sciatic nerve pain is often felt as a result of a lumbar disc herniation.”

A stabbing type of pain that comes on suddenly, whether it is only in your behind, only down a leg and especially both in the butt and leg, is highly suspicious for a pinched or compressed nerve.

This includes the sciatic nerve — a major nerve that runs down the butt and leg, all the way to the foot.

As mentioned, a lumbar disc herniation is the usual cause. The disc bulges out and compresses or “pinches” a nerve that comes out of the spine. The affected nerve is not necessarily the sciatic one.

As for sciatic nerve compression, this can also be caused a little further down in the buttocks by a tight piriformis muscle. If this muscle presses upon the nerve, it can induce pain, tingling or numbness.

Stretching and strengthening exercises (see below) can help relieve the condition.

Hip extension for the butt.


Stretch for the piriformis muscle. Shutterstock/Maridav

Jeff Langmaid, DC
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/Miss Ty