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Sciatica Series: 3. Do You Have Sciatica? (Self-Tests)

We highly recommend you see your physician in order to ensure a correct diagnosis. Sciatica can be a serious disabling condition and it important that you are not misdiagnosed.


However, we do provide four self-tests you can perform. These tests can help increase your sciatica knowledge before meeting with your health care provider. Test One


(Herniated or Bulging Disc)


The first test is conducted with a seated straight leg raise in order to identify a possible herniated or bulging disc. In a seated position, lift your right leg while keeping your knee straight. While your leg is in the air, bend your right foot toward you while simultaneously flexing your neck. If you have a herniated disc, oftentimes you will feel increased pain or symptoms down the leg with this test. Now repeat the above steps with your left leg.

Test Two (Herniated or Bulging Disc)


This test is also used to identify a herniated or bulging disc. For this test, sit in a chair without any arms. Grab the underside of the chair with both arms and pull up. Next, slouch forward and extend your neck back. Be sure to note any pain occurring in your back and leg(s). Now flex your neck forward, while still being in a slouched position and pulling up on the underside of the chair. If your pain increases while flexing your neck forward, it is likely caused by a herniated or bulging disc.

Test Three (3-Part Test for Spinal Stenosis)


A. Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and legs slightly apart. Lean forward in the chair and reach for the floor with your hands. If your backpain increases with this maneuver, stop immediately. If your back pain stops after performing this, you may have spinal stenosis.

B. Stand up from the chair and raise your arms overhead and lean back (see photo). If standing and leaning back increases your pain, you may have spinal stenosis.

C. Answer these three questions:


a. Do you have increased pain following prolonged walking and standing?


b. Does the pain stop when you are sitting or while leaning forward on a shopping cart?


c. Are you older than 55?


If you answer “yes” to all three questions, you may have spinal stenosis. Arthritis or degeneration of the spine can cause spinal stenosis.


Test Four (Piriformis Syndrome)


This is a test to identify if you have piriformis syndrome. For this test, sit in a chair with your back upright and your feet resting on the ground. Next, place the ankle of your affected (painful) leg on the unaffected knee. Place one hand on the ankle of the affected leg. Place your other hand on the outside of the knee of the affected leg.

Next, bend forward from the waist to feel a stretch in your buttocks. At the same time, pull your affected knee toward your chest.

Increased pain and tenderness in the buttock and leg during this test may indicate the piriformis muscle is involved. If it appears that you have piriformis syndrome or spinal stenosis, confirm this diagnosis with your doctor or health care provider. PLEASE NOTE: THIS VIDEO PROGRAM WILL NOT HELP YOU IF YOU HAVE PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME OR SPINAL STENOSIS.


DISCLAIMER We insist that you see a physician before starting this video series. Furthermore, this video series is not designed to replace the treatment of a professional: physician, osteopath, physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, or chiropractor. It may however serve as an adjunct. Do not go against the advice of your health care professional. When under the care of a professional make certain that they approve of all that you try. This information is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Any information given about back-related conditions, treatments, and products is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this publication. Before starting an exercise program, consult a physician.


Check out the full Sciatica series of videos along with downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website here: http://bobandbrad.com/programs


Medical Disclaimer All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.


Affiliate disclaimer: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We are highly selective in our products and try our best to keep things fair and balanced in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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Back Pain Relief Program

Get BACK to pain-free: Bob and Brad bring you the best information on keeping your back in tip-top shape! Check out our Back Pain Program and you'll be bending like a contortionist in no time

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Bob and Brad Products Program

The products we back to help in your quest to live a healthy, fit, and pain-free life.

Sit back and relax as we explain the ins and outs of these products.

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Osteoporosis- The Meeks Method

Sara Meeks specializes in the management of low bone mass and skeletal fragility (osteoporosis).

Here she shares her secrets to successfully prevent, arrest or reverse the Patterns of Postural Change.

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Neck Pain Relief Program

70% of people will suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives. DON’T be one of them!

Check out our Neck Program with videos and printable PDFs full of at home treatment options.

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Stretching & More Fitness Program

From your head to your toes, the Stretching & More Program offers stretches and techniques that will keep you feeling great and help prevent injuries! Add a few of these to your stretching routine today.

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Shoulder Pain Relief Program

You shoulder your daily responsibilities, let us shoulder the burden of relieving your pain!

Check out our Shoulder Program for at home exercises to get you back to business!

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Sciatica Relief Program

Do you have pain in your lower back that shoots down into your glute and leg?


Our Sciatica Program offers videos to help relieve your pain at home, work, or just out living life.

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Total Knee Replacement Fitness Program

Planning knee replacement surgery? Want to improve your range of motion and return to activities you love?

Our Total Knee Replacement Program can help.

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Self Massage Program

Two sure-fire ways of relieving tension and sore muscles: massage and humor! We have both in our Massage Program.

Learn to use self massage for a variety of ailments with videos and printable PDFs.

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Hip Pain Relief Program

It’s not hip to spend your life in pain. Enjoy a pain-free life with our Hip Program, full of at home treatment options and printable PDFs!

You'll be back on your feet in no time.

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Knee Pain Relief Program

Is knee pain slowing you down? Knee pain relief has never been so accessible.

Learn ways to relieve pain at home and feel your best with the videos in our Knee Program!

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Plantar Fasciitis Relief Program

Foot pain can affect many other parts of your body without you even realizing it!

Don’t let your pain progress- stop it NOW with our Plantar Fasciitis program! Full of videos for at home healing.

Explore Our Programs

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