Schobers test

This test is a useful objective means of measuring the mobility of the lumbar spine and is useful to detect the spondyloarthropathies in younger patients.

Modified method

• Stand the patient erect and mark the spine in line with the dimples of Venus (the posterior superior iliac spines).

• Place another mark 10 cm above the first and a third mark 5 cm below the first mark.

• Ask the patient to bend forward, as if to touch the toes, to the point of maximal flexion.

• Finally, measure the distance between the upper and lower marks.

Interpretation

• Less than 5 cm represents hypomobility, common in the inflammatory spinal disorders, severe spondylosis and intervertebral disc disorders.

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