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Testing for low back flexion

Schober test measures the forward flexion of the lumbar spine in a patient with suspected or proven ankylosing spondylitis.

In this test, with the patient standing erect, a mark is made over the spinous process of the 5th lumbar vertebra or at the level of an imaginary line joining the two posterior superior iliac spines.

Another mark is made 10 cm above it in the midline. The patient is then asked to touch his toes. The distance between the two points normally exceeds 15 cm. If this distance increases lese than 5 cm, then this indicates a limited flexion of the lower back.

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