Schober Test

Purpose

The Schober test checks the lumbar flexion range of motion.

Suppose the spine is straight. If it bends forward, like in lumbar flexion, the posterior surface of the back should stretch out to accommodate the movement.

For example, if you have a circle drawn with a thick line, the circumference of the outer side of the line is greater than the circumference of the inner side of the line.

If the posterior back doesn’t stretch out all that much, it means the range of lumbar flexion is limited.

Steps

  • Patient has back facing you
  • Find the level of the posterior superior iliac spine
    • PSIS is roughly at L5-S1 level
  • Make a mark 10cm above that and another mark 5cm below it
    • Memory aid: the higher number is higher up
    • The distance between the points is 15cm
  • Tell patient to touch toes
    • Patient bends over, which is lumbar flexion
  • If the distance between the points is <20cm, there is limited lumbar flexion
    • Alternatively, means the increase in distance from the lumbar flexion movement is <5cm

References

  1. Physiopedia. (n.d.). Schober test. [online] Available at: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Schober_test [Accessed 2 Feb. 2018].
  2. General Practice Notebook. (n.d.). Schober’s test. [online] Available at: https://www.gpnotebook.co.uk/simplepage.cfm?ID=1422917656 [Accessed 2 Feb. 2018].
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