Lumbar Orthopedic Tests

Lumbar Spine Orthopedic Tests are usually done to assess and find out the cause of low back pain. Thoracic Spine Orthopedic Tests are usually used to assess scoliosis.

Lumbar Orthopedic Tests:


 

Lumbar and Thoracic Spine Orthopedic Test:

Functional or Structural Scoliosis Test

Purpose: To find out whether the spinal curvature is functional or structural. ( To find out if the scoliosis is due to muscular imbalance or bone structure imbalance )

Procedure:

• Client is standing

• Observe the location and movement of the client’s spine and curvature

• Ask client to laterally bend their trunk on both sides slowly, then flex their trunk slowly

Positive Sign:

Functional Scoliosis: if the curvature fixes itself ( reverses) as the client laterally bends towards the convex side

Functional Scoliosis: if the curvature and rib humping reverse as the client bends forward

Structural Scoliosis: the curvature does not correct itself as the client laterally bends towards the convex side, and the curvature remains

Structural Scoliosis: if the curvature and rib humping remains the same as the client bends forward

 

Lumbar Spine Orthopedic Test / Lumbar Spine Special Test

Kemp’s Test

Testing for: Nerve root compression, due to disc herniation or facet joint irritation in the lumbar spine

Procedure:

• Client is standing

• Client actively and slowly extends, sidebends and rotates their thorax and lumbar spine to the affected side.

• Therapist may apply an inferiorly directed pressure to the shoulder on the affected side (Quadrant’s Test)

Positive Sign:

Nerve root compression: Radiating pain or other neurological signs in the affected leg.

Lumbar Facet Joint irritation: Pain local to the back

 

Lumbar Spine Orthopedic Test / Lumbar Spine Special Test:

Quadratus Lumborum Length Test

Testing for: the length of the Quadratus Lumborum muscles

Procedure:

• Client is seated

• Therapist stands behind the client and landmarks both iliac crests

• Client slowly bends their torso laterally away from the tested side, then toward the tested side

• Therapists notes the Range of Motion on both lateral bending

Positive Sign: reduced range of motion or restriction when bending away from the tested side.


 

Lumbar Orthopedic Test / Lumbar or Thoracic Special Test:
Scoliosis Short Leg

Purpose: to see if client has an uneven leg length that is causing functional scoliosis

Procedure:

• Client is standing

• Observe the client’s Bilateral Iliac Crests and Acromioclavicular joints levels, and see if there is tilting and scoliosis.

• Place a thin book under the shorter leg.

Positive Sign: the scoliosis curve reverses and neutralizes after the book was placed under the side with the shorter leg.

 

Lumbar  Orthopedic Test:
Scoliosis Small Hemipelvis

Testing for: Functional scoliosis due to the presence of a small hemipelvis . Hemipelvis* – one side of the pelvis.

Procedure:

• Client is seated

• Observe the client’s Bilateral Iliac Crests and Acromioclavicular joints levels, and see if there is tilting and scoliosis.

• Place a thin book under the lower ( smaller) pelvis side.

Positive Sign: the scoliosis curve reverses and neutralizes after the book was placed under the side with the lower pelvis.

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