Indications

Cervical compression test is used to test cervical spine facet joints. It can also be useful in reproducing nerve root compression symptoms in the cervical spine.

Procedure

  1. Patient seated
  2. Examiner gently applies axial downward pressure on patient’s head.

Modifications

    You can increase the maximal compression going through the cervical spine by rotating, laterally flexing and slightly extending the patient’s head.
Facet Joint compression

Patient seated, examiner gently applies axial downward pressure on patient’s head.

Interpretation

  1. Positive Positive Increased local pain: Joint damage, facet lock, meniscoid entrapment or ligament strain.
  2. Positive Positive Increased peripheral pain: Increased pressure on nerve roots (IVF encroachment, radiculopathy).

Clinical Notes

With radicular symptoms, further evaluation is warranted (neurologic examination & diagnostic imaging).