How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
Dr. Braxton can provide a diagnosis for patients suffering from sciatic nerve pain. He will collect a health history and perform a physical exam. During the exam he may ask questions to determine:
- Onset of pain
- Location(s) and intensity of pain
- Unusual sensation in legs and feet
- Activities that increase or decrease pain
- Treatments to date, including pain management
The physical portion of the exam is to evaluate spinal alignment, curvature, muscle spasms, areas of tenderness, range of motion, posture, and simple movements that trigger pain. Patients may be asked to tiptoe or heel walk, squat, and lift one leg at a time when lying down; the exam will also evaluate muscles strength, reflexes and nerve abnormalities. Diagnostic imaging such as X-ray, MRI, and CT scan may also be used.