Lumbar Spine Assessment

Schober Test | Lumbar Spine Flexion | Spinal Mobility Assessment

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Schober Test

Schober Test | Lumbar Spine Flexion | Spinal Mobility Assessment

The Schober Test is a test to evaluate lumbar spine flexion movement. A systematic review by Castro et al in 2015 reports acceptable construct validity for the test.  The modified version of this test is included in the BASMI, a tool to define clinically significant changes in spinal movement for patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis.

To conduct the test, the patient is barefoot standing upright with the feet 30cm apart.  Then mark a point 5cm below spinous process S2 and one point 10cm above. Measure the distance between the two points, which should be 15cm. Then the patient flexes as far a possible, keeping the legs fully extended and the distance is measured again. The difference between the two measurements indicates the amount of flexion. 

The modified version of this test works the same way except for the used landmark from where the two marks are made ist the level of the iliac crest which is probably easier to palpate.
There is also a modified-modified Schober test that uses the PSIS as landmark.

 

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References

Castro MP, Stebbings SM, Milosavljevic S, Bussey MD. Construct validity of clinical spinal mobility tests in ankylosing spondylitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical rheumatology. 2016 Jul;35(7):1777-87.

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