From the great clinical minds of Dr. Michael Shacklock and colleagues…
Hamstring injuries are a common sports-related injury and are prevalent across a variety of sports (e.g. soccer and athletics). One perhaps under-appreciated aspect of hamstring injuries is the involvement of the sciatic nerve, owing to its close proximity to the biceps femoris, near its attachment at the ischial tuberosity. The resulting hip and thigh pain, which may occur with or without sciatic nerve involvement, is a common presentation of injuries of the proximal hamstring.
The straight leg raise (SLR) test is the most commonly performed physical test for sciatic nerve or lumbar nerve root irritation in patients with low back pain and is also commonly used to evaluate hamstring muscle flexibility. The addition of ankle dorsiflexion to the SLR is thought to help differentiate between sciatic nerve and hamstring pain. Animal and cadaver studies have demonstrated distal movement of the tibial nerve at the knee with ankle dorsiflexion during SLR, although little is known about the effect of this combined test on the proximal sciatic nerve.
As such, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the mechanical behaviour of the sciatic nerve and biceps femoris muscle in the proximal thigh during SLR with ankle dorsiflexion. More specifically, both strain (elongation) and excursion (displacement) of the muscle and nerve were tested in a cadaver model to investigate the specificity of the ankle dorsiflexion for the sciatic nerve and hamstrings at different ranges of hip flexion during the SLR test…LOG IN OR SUBSCRIBE TO ACCESS THIS REVIEW!
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Straight Leg Raise with Ankle Dorsiflexion – Clinical Implications for the Neural Aspect of Hamstring Disorders”
This paper was published in Musculoskeletal Science and Practice (2019) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Clinical Testing & Procedures, Lumbar Spine - Disc/Neurological and the 2020 Archive.
Hamstring SLR