How do you test for sciatica?

The physical and neurological examinations will be performed by a spine specialist. The doctor will note down the movement that causes pain, the range of motion, posture, and physical condition that causes pain. He will examine the spine, its curvature, and alignment, and will check for muscle spasms.

The spine specialist will test the reflexes, muscle strength, and other nerve changes.

To find the cause of sciatica, you may have to get some imaging tests done. An X-ray or a computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan may be required. If you have a herniated disc or spinal stenosis that is leading to sciatica, the doctor might advise a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.

All these together will give the doctor an in-depth picture of your sciatic nerve pain. With these, he will analyze the results and will make a diagnosis of the underlying reason for your pain.