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Examination of the lumbrosacral spine.

Ford LT
Occupational safety and health symposia 1977. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 78-169, 1978 Jun; :30-33
Examining the lumbrosacral spine for evidence of degenerative disease and injury were discussed. Points to consider when obtaining a medical history were considered. Procedures for examining the lumbrosacral spine were described. The first step in the examination consisted of observing the normal gait followed by observing the patient standing in place. This was to determine if the spine was straight and if the patient's pelvis is level. The ability of the patient to assume a full squatting position and to raise himself from the position was assessed. Then a jugular compression test was performed. If this caused low back or sciatic pain, a lesion occupying space in the spinal canal may be indicated. The patient was asked to report any subjective symptoms while performing back motion and lateral bends. Knee and ankle jerks were tested with the patient sitting on the side of the examining table. Leg length was measured with the patient lying supine. The circumference of the thighs and calves were measured and the sensation of both lower limbs was tested by light touching and a pin wheel. The range of motion of the hips and knees was checked. The ability to perform straight leg raises was evaluated. With the patient turned in the prone position and a pillow under the abdomen to flatten the lumbar spine, the calves, popliteal region, posterior thighs, buttocks, sacrum, coccyx, and lumbar spine were palpated. The presence of muscle spasm in the lumbar musculature could be detected by giving a light tap with a percussion hammer while holding a finger on the muscle. The author notes that after these procedures have been completed, the next step is a radiographic examination of the lumbrosacral spine.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-77-0088; Musculoskeletal-system; Back-injuries; Spinal-cord; Medical-examinations; Anatomy; Clinical-diagnosis; Skeletal-movement
Publication Date
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Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
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Occupational safety and health symposia 1977
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division