WellSpan Home

Straight-Leg Test for Evaluating Low Back Pain

Topic Overview

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.

  • If you have pain down the back of your leg below the knee when your affected leg is raised, the test is positive (abnormal). It means that one or more of the nerve roots leading to your sciatic nerve may be compressed or irritated.
  • If doing this test on the unaffected leg causes pain in the affected leg, it helps to confirm that one of these nerve roots is compressed or irritated.

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.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma

Current as ofNovember 29, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×