Movements of the lumbar spine

There are three main movements of the lumbar spine. As there is minimal rotation, which mainly occurs at the thoracic spine, rotation is not so important. The movements that should be tested, and their normal ranges are as follows:

• lateral flexion, left and right (30°) (Fig 33.5 b)

Measurement of the angle of movement can be made by using a line drawn between the sacrum and large prominence of the C7 spinous process.

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Fig. 33.5 (a) Degrees of movement of the lumbar spine: flexion and extension (b) degree of lateral flexion of the lumbar spine

REPRODUCED FROM C. KENNA AND J. MURTAGH, BACK PAIN AND SPINAL MANIPULATION, BUTTERWORTHS, SYDNEY, 1989, WITH PERMISSION

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