Video: Exams and Tests for Sciatica

Hear How a Spine Expert Diagnoses Sciatica

Before your doctor can diagnose the cause of your sciatica and develop a treatment plan, he or she will have to run a series of exams and tests.  In this video, Dr. Alex Vaccaro, an orthopaedic surgeon and professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, explains those exams and tests in clear-cut language.  He’ll help you really understand what is going to happen to you during the diagnosis process (or maybe you’ve already been through that process but still don’t entirely understand what happened).

Dr. Vaccaro goes in-depth on the sensory and neurological exams, which are key diagnostic tools for sciatica.  Where your sciatic nerve is affected in your low back influences where you experience the associated leg pain and other symptoms.  Dr. Vaccaro’s explanation helps you understand how and why a doctor can diagnose sciatica based on if you have pain in your big toe.  (That’s just one example:  Dr. Vaccaro goes through the other parts of your leg that can indicate where your sciatic nerve is being pinched.)

You can also read an article on sciatica exams and tests.

Updated on: 06/02/14