Movement tests for evaluating
low back pain include:
Walking. You walk while
your doctor watches you for things like how you move and carry your body, and
whether you limp or favor one leg as you walk.
Flexion. You bend forward and try to touch your toes. The
extent to which you can bend without significant pain allows your doctor to
look for limitation of movement and to check the spinal muscles for signs of
muscle sensitivity and spasm.
hyperextend your back by bending backward.
Rotation. You rotate your back by
keeping your hips still and turning your upper body from side to
Side bending. You bend to one side,
then the other, keeping your hips level and not letting your body
In general, increased pain on bending forward (flexion) suggests a
disc problem. Pain that increases when bending
backward (extending the spine) suggests degenerative changes,
spinal stenosis, or
spondylolisthesis. When you do side bending and
rotation, your doctor is looking for differences between the two sides, such as
whether you can bend farther to one side than the other. Spasms of the muscles
next to the spine can create pain with any of these tests.
You’ve just helped your friend carry loads of heavy boxes into his new apartment and now your back is hurting. Not only that, but you’ve planned a long car trip for the next few days. All of a sudden, you’re filled with trepidation at the thought of all those hours spent sitting.
No doubt, back pain can cramp your lifestyle, not to mention causing lost days at work or other consequences. Such fall-out often spurs the legions with chronic back problems to learn proper body mechanics to ease pain,...