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Physician Blog Posts

Read articles on back pain, new advances in treatment options, and other current spine-related topics from our doctors.

Helping our patients feel better and improve their quality of life is our goal at the Inova Spine Program. The articles below are written by our expert clinicians to offer our patients timely tips and information on a variety of back and spine topics to help you in your daily life.

Latest Blog Post – "Could a Leg Test Help to Diagnose Your Back or Neck Pain?"

By John F. Hamilton, MD, PhD

straight leg test When it comes to back or neck problems, you might think that a doctor who specializes in treating spine conditions will diagnose the cause with a medical history, X-ray or MRI scans, and a physical examination only. You might be surprised to learn that sometimes, the spine doctor goes beyond back and neck testing and examination to look at leg pain and may perform a straight leg test as well.

That’s because some back and neck conditions cause symptoms not just in the back or neck, but in the legs and feet as well. In order to discover the source of the pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the lower body, the straight leg test can provide vital information about how the spine might be involved in the symptoms.

The 26 bones that form our spinal column provide stability and flexibility, which allow us to stand up and move. Those bones also help to protect the nerve bundles in the spinal cord, which lead down from the brain and branch out to connect every part of the body. Because of those nerve connections, pinched or damaged nerves in the spinal cord sometimes result in symptoms in the leg or foot. A straight leg test is a way to determine if there is any pressure or irritation in the lower lumbar nerves, the nerves in the lower back.
Keep reading: Could a Leg Test Help to Diagnose Your Back or Neck Pain?

Blog Post History

Tingling, Weakness, Pain: Could You Have Peripheral Nerve Injury? (Author: John F. Hamilton, MD, PhD

When Tech is a Pain in the Neck (includes strength and stretching exercises)

Is Spine Surgery the Answer to your Back Pain? (Author: Corey Wallach, MD)

Injured Your Back? Dos and Don’t for Recovery (Author: Angela Santini, MD)

A Weighty Issue: An overloaded backpack can damage your child’s spine and your posture

Pain in the Neck? Artificial Disk Replacement Might Be the Answer (Author: Ali Moshirfar, MD)

Gardening Pains: Prevent Back Injury When Doing Yardwork (Author: Ali Moshirfar, MD)

Suffering From Back Pain? Let Us Help You Navigate Your Treatment Journey (Author: Carey Vincent, RN)

Spine Surgery Pioneers: Inova Spine Program Surgeons Teach New Techniques to International Visitors (Author: Ronald C. Childs, MD)

Winter Storm Safety Tips: Prevent back pain and other health events (Author: Carlo Alfano, health coach)

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