Saturday, 22 Jun 2024

Schober Test

The Schober Test is a valuable tool for assessing the range of motion in the lumbar spine and can help identify possible cases of ankylosing spondylitis. This test is simple, requiring minimal equipment, and can be performed quickly. It involves measuring the flexion of the lumbar spine by marking two points on the subject’s back and measuring the distance between them as the subject leans forward with their knees straight.


The main purpose of the Schober Test is to measure the range of motion in the lumbar spine. By assessing the flexibility of the lumbar spine, healthcare professionals can identify any limitations and potential issues that may be present.


To conduct the Schober Test, the subject stands upright, barefoot, with their back facing the examiner. The location of the lumbosacral junction is identified, and two lines are marked at 5 cm below and 10 cm above this point. The subject is then asked to slowly lean forward at the waist while keeping their knees straight. During this process, the examiner measures the distance between the two lines. The change in distance indicates the measure of flexion in the lumbar spine.


The score obtained is a distance measure in centimeters. In a normal lumbar spine, the original distance between the lines is 15 cm. If the distance increases to more than 20 centimeters, it indicates normal lumbar spine flexibility. However, a distance measure of fewer than 20 centimeters (less than 5 cm difference) suggests decreased lumbar spine range of motion, possibly indicating ankylosing spondylitis.

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The Schober Test offers several advantages. It is a straightforward test that can be conducted quickly and with minimal equipment. Its simplicity makes it accessible for use in various healthcare settings.

Modifications and References

There are modifications of the Schober Test that use different landmarks for assessment. The original version of the test has been referenced by various studies and publications, including the works of Schober and other researchers.

Similar Tests and Related Pages

Other tests that assess flexibility and range of motion in the lower back include the Kraus-Weber Floor Touch Test, Stand & Reach Test, and Toe Touch Test. These tests provide additional ways to evaluate flexibility and can complement the results of the Schober Test.

For more information on flexibility tests and exercises, including hamstring flexibility exercises, please refer to our comprehensive list of stretches.