This weeks Special Test of the Week is the “double straight leg lowering test”. This test is a generalized test to assess “core” strength.
Positioning: The patient is supine, with their hips flexed to 90 degrees and a blood pressure cuff placed under the lumbar spine in the region of L4-5. The cuff is then inflated to 40mmHg. The clinician then raises the patients legs until a noticible posterior rotation of the pelvic occurs and the patient is asked to perform an abdominal bracing procedure to precent more pelvic motion.
Test: The patient attempts to slowly lower their legs to the table maintaining the abdominal contraction. At the point where their is a fluxation in pressure as measured by the cuff or a noticible anterior pelvic rotation, the test is concluded. The amount of hip motion is measured by the clinician.
Normal (5/5): Able to reach 0-15 degrees from the table before tilting of the pelvis.
Good (4/4): Able to reach 16-45 degrees from the table for tilting of the pelvis.
Fair (3/3): Able to reach 46-75 degrees from the table before tilting of the pelvis.
Poor (2/2): Able to reach 75-90 degrees from the table before tilting of the pelvis.
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Hodges P, Richardson C, Jull G. Evaluation of the relatioship between laboratory and clinical tests of transversus abdominis function. Physiother Res Int 1996;1:30-40.