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Why is sciatica sometimes mistaken for osteoarthritis?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Sciatica, or a pinched sciatic nerve that is common in lower back injuries, can be mistaken for osteoarthritis. This is because the pain from the pinched nerve may feel as if it is coming from somewhere below the back, perhaps a foot, knee, or hip. In sciatica, however, there is usually only pain and not swelling or inflammation in the joint.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.