Tension signs are maneuvers that tighten the sciatic or femoral nerve and in doing so further compress an inflamed nerve root against a lumbar disc herniation. The supine straight leg raise test (Lasegue's test) and its variants (sitting straight leg raise test, bowstring test, contralateral straight leg raise test) increase tension along the sciatic nerve and are used to assess the L5 and S1 nerve roots. The femoral nerve stretch test (reverse straight leg raise test) increases tension along the femoral nerve and is used to assess the L2, L3, and L4 nerve roots.
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