Schober’s test is classically used to determine if there is a decrease in lumbar spine range of motion (flexion), most commonly as a result of ankylosing spondylitis.
- Patient is standing, examiner marks the L5 spinous process by drawing a horizontal line across the patients back.
- A second line is marked 10 cm above the first line.
- Patient is then instructed to flex forward as if attempting to touch his/her toes, examiner remeasures distance between two lines with patient fully flexed.
Modified Schober Test
- Patient is standing, examiner marks both posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) and then draws a horizontal line at the centre of both marks
- A second line is marked 5 cm bellow the first line.
- A third line is marked 10 cm above the first line.
- Patient is then instructed to flex forward as if attempting to touch his/her toes, examiner remeasures distance between the top and bottom line.
For both versions of the test, an increase of less than 5cm is a positive test and may indicate ankylosing spondylitis.
Positive Schober’s Test
- Less then 5cm increase in length with forward flexion : Decreased lumbar spine range of motion, ankylosing spondylitis
This test is almost exclusively associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis, but may also be positive due to a decrease in lumbar range of motion due to pain or congenital anomalies or segmental fusion.