Pain in the hip that runs down the leg is caused by a pinched sciatic nerve, according to Spine-health. There are five nerves that come together to form the sciatic nerve, and the symptoms depend on which nerve is being compressed.
For example, if the L5 nerve of the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain might shoot down to the ankle and the big toe, explains Spine-health. If the S1 nerve is affected, the pain might run down to the outside of the foot and the little toe. Some people have more than one affected nerve and may have a variety of symptoms. Sciatica can be treated surgically or nonsurgically with pain medications, exercise or physical therapy.