Normative sciatic nerve excursion during a modified straight leg raise test
The aim of the present study was to provide preliminary normative data on longitudinal and transverse plane movements of the sciatic nerve measured in the mid-posterior thigh of asymptomatic individuals during a modified SLR.
The sciatic nerve was scanned in the posterior thigh in sixteen asymptomatic participants (age range 19e68 years). Nerve excursion was measured in transverse and longitudinal planes during knee extension from 90o to 00, with the hip flexed to 30o and 60o.. Results demonstrated that most nerves moved superficially during knee extension, a large proportion (10/16) moved laterally. Longitudinal excursion ranged from 6.4 to 14.7 mm in 30ohip flexion, and 5.1e20.2 mm in 60o hip flexion. Mean nerve excursion was significantly greater in 60o hip flexion.
The clinical importance of this study is in demonstrating the large variation in magnitude and direction (medial/lateral movements) during a modified SLR in asymptomatic individuals. A significant difference between the two positions was found indicating that with greater pre-loading, more nerve excursion occurred. Such large variability between individuals may have an impact in future studies looking at comparison in nerve excursion between asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. > From Ridehalgh et al., Man Ther 19 (2014) 59-64.
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