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The Recliner Test for Sciatica


Chiropractic care is a discipline of alternative medicine that relies heavily on diagnostics. Because there is no surgery involved in chiropractic care and chiropractors are obligated to determine what the status of an injury is with simple radiology equipment and testing, there are many different avenues that a chiropractor can take to arrive at the right strategy to treat a certain musculoskeletal condition.

A chiropractor is tasked with gathering as much information as he or she can from the patient before performing any sort of diagnostics or testing. A chiropractor may ask a series of questions to gather information before performing tests. Where does it hurt? With what body movements do you feel the pain the most? When you move through this process of locomotion, where do you feel the pain?

Next, the chiropractor will move on to perform a series of tests to determine what exactly is happening in the patient’s musculoskeletal system, and how the chiropractor can use this diagnostic information to figure out a treatment plan.

One of the more common tests that a chiropractor will perform is called “The Recliner Test.” This is reserved specifically for patients who are complaining of sciatica and/or pain and discomfort in the hip region where the sciatic nerve connects to other parts of the nervous system.

In order to perform this test, a chiropractor will ask a patient to sit on the table with their legs hanging off of the table. The chiropractor will then instruct the patient to lift his or her legs up in the air one at a time as if he or she were sitting in a recliner. If the patient is able to lift the non-injured leg up with no problem, but struggles to lift the injured leg up with the same ease, then there is likely something wrong in the sciatic nerve. Pain, discomfort, and weakness in the buttock and spreading down the leg where the injury has occurred are all symptoms of sciatica, and the chiropractor is able to tell when this condition is occurring with this simple test.

This is just one of many tests that a chiropractor can complete in an effort to diagnose musculoskeletal problems. Some of them are simple, some of them are way more complex, but ultimately, they all help the chiropractor determine what the best treatment pathway may be.

Story Credit 


Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Christine Warner Hawks

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