Straight-leg tests are done to help find the reason for low back and leg pain. To do this test, you lie on your back with
both legs straight. Your health professional raises one of your legs upward,
keeping the knee straight.
Your doctor may do this test on each leg. The test stretches the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of your leg and the nerve roots that lead to it.
Compression or irritation of the nerve roots leading to the sciatic nerve can have several causes, but the most common is a herniated disc at the lowest part of your back.
December 14, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
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