Your doctor will ask if you have back pain that spreads to the leg, and if you have muscle weakness in your legs or feet. It will also wondering if you had any trauma, fever, problems controlling your bowels or bladder, if you had cancer of any kind in the past and if you lost weight in recent days. These questions are important because if these symptoms are present, the cause of sciatica can be a serious problem, such as a bone fracture or an infection.
The doctor will examine you, paying special attention to your spine and legs. He may ask you to perform a series of tests that will check your muscle strength, your reflexes and flexibility, look for problems in your spinal column and related nerves. He may request X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scan or an examination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out problems in the vertebrae (spine) - she may be angry or may be compressing your sciatic nerve.
The diagnosis is based primarily on your symptoms, although a physical examination is important to look for evidence of nerve injury or other explanation for the symptoms. However, a normal physical examination is common in people with sciatica. While testing may be important in some cases, the diagnosis can be made even when the results are normal.