Irritation to the sciatic nerve can happen due to a traumatic injury or as the result of repetitive use. Before treatment can take place a proper diagnosis has to be made. The diagnosis is not only important to confirm that the sciatic nerve is affected, but also to know the location or locations where the nerve is being irritated.
When sciatica is suspected, we will take a medical history and conduct a physical examination. A physical exam will include neurological and orthopedic testing to further understand the condition. Medical imaging tests such as an x-ray or MRI may be appropriate in rare cases. A diagnosis of the underlying cause of sciatica is essential in putting together an effective treatment plan to decrease pain in the short term and restore normal function in the long run.