Nerve root irritation from disc or DJD


  • Waxes/wanes, typically radiates down one leg below knee
  • Vast majority affect L5 or S1 roots
  • Typically pain w/o weakness or deficits unless severe compression

Physical Exam Findings

  • No pain on vertebral/paravertebral palpaion
  • If disc related: straight leg raise sensitive, crossed leg raise specific
  • S1: pain/numbness lateral foot
  • L5 pain/numbness top of foot
  • L5: weakness in extension of toe, foot inversion
  • S1: weakness in plantar flexion