Indications

Foraminal Compression test is a cervical spine examination procedure that assesses for radiculopathy, IVF encroachment and for sprain or strain along the neck area. Another name for this test is the Spurling’s Test.

Procedure

Patient should be awake and cooperative while the Foraminal Compression test is being done. The test is done in three stages.

  1. Patient should be seated as the examiner applies downward pressure with the head in neutral position.
  2. Patient is seated as the examiner applies downward pressure with the head in mild extension.
  3. Patient is seated as the examiner applies downward pressure with the head in extension and lateral flexion toward the afflicted side.

The examiner takes note of any pain along the arm and neck during all three stages.

Examiner applies downward pressure on the head in different positions.

Interpretation

Positive Foraminal Compression test

There is positive Foranimal Compression test when there are complaints of:

  • Pain along the arm; this could indicate radiculopathy or IVF encroachment.
  • Local neck pain; this could indicate sprain or strain along the area.

Clinical Notes

Spurling’s Sign may be demonstrated by applying a “vertical blow” to the top of the head.  A Reverse Spurling’s Sign is seen when there is pain on the opposite side to where the head is bent. This could be due to cervical pain or strain.