Sciatica diagnosis varies, depending on the duration and severity of the pain. It is recommended that you visit a chiropractor as soon as you see any sign of Sciatica, as the pain tends to get worse overtime and can even lead to more serious complications.
A Chiropractor’s Opinion
A Chiropractor will first obtain your medical history, and then perform an examination. Like other medical problems, Sciatica is diagnosed using various clinical tests, which range from motion tests to X-rays and MRIs. However, the latter is only needed in case of long term Sciatica or if the chiropractor thinks there is a deeper root to the problem, as the symptoms may signify other diseases as well.
The simplest and of these tests are the range of motion tests. The straight leg raise is the most commonly used test in this category. The chiropractor would ask you to lie down on a straight examination table or floor. He will then raise your legs, keeping your knees straight. If pain is experienced between the 30-70 degree range, it indicates a positive sign of Sciatica.
Other than that, the chiropractor might ask you to walk on your heels or toes to examine any signs of nerve damage. Reflex tests are also performed, using a reflex hammer on the back of the ankles or the knee.
A functional examination may also be performed. You can click here to view part of a functional examination. A functional examination can identify underlying or hidden causes of sciatica.
However, in some complicated cases, these tests aren’t sufficient to determine Sciatica and the chiropractor may perform further diagnosis using imaging techniques such as X-rays or MRI scans. This is specially used if the patient has had a history of HIV or cancer. These advanced diagnosing techniques can indicate any tumors or broken bones in the spinal cord, but they usually only indicate long term Sciatica. In most cases of Acute back pain, these tests aren’t necessary, as the pain usually subsides within a few weeks with traetment.
Some rare cases may also require some laboratory tests, such as blood count tests. An abnormal blood count suggests an infection or anemia, which can also cause Sciatica. Sedimentation tests can also tell if there is an inflammation present somewhere within the spinal cord. If you or a loved one has symptoms that indicate Sciatica, a chiropractor can be of service.
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