bowstring testA clinical test used to identify sciatic nerve (radicular) pathology.
The patient begins lying supine with the legs extended while the examiner performs a passive straight leg raise on the involved side. If the patient reports radiating pain, the examiner then flexes the patient’s knee until symptoms are reduced. The examiner then applies pressure to the popliteal fossa to try to reproduce the radicular pain.
Reproduction of pain with popliteal compression implies sciatic nerve pathology.