Diagnosing a herniated disc is a important step in the herniated disc recovery process. A medical professional should help rule out injuries other then herniated discs and/or help diagnose more medical conditions such as Sciatica.
A physical examination, most commonly the straight leg raise test, is performed by the practioner to help “rule out” the chances of a lower lumbar disc injury. Another variation of this is to have the patient perform this same movement sitting. This test is positive if pain occurs in the 30-70 degree range of a flexed straight leg.
To further determine exactly where the disc herniation is imaging is performed on the patient. Imaging can include a X-ray which can help rule out fractures, CAT scan, Myelogram, Electromyogram, and finally (and the most effective way to diagnose a disc injury) magnetic resonance imagine, or a MRI. A MRI can show many nerves in the spinal cord and surrounding regions including the spinal cord itself, the roots, and other soft tissues. Tumors can also be seen through a MRI. Clear imaging is provided for protruded disc material.