A regular part of your lower quarter exam (and some upper quarter) includes the Slump Test. The purpose of the test is to determine if the nervous system is involved at all in your patient's case and symptom presentation. When performing the Slump Test, we are looking for 3 potential findings:
1. Reproduction of the patient's symptoms
2. Asymmetrical quantity or quality of motion
3. Ability to change the symptoms with proximal/distal motions
While I have discussed the potential importance of asymptomatic limitations in nervous system mobility before, I instead want to focus on a different response during the slump test. When I was in school, I was taught that when performing the test, the patient slouches then performs knee extension. The symptoms are increased with ankle DF and decreased with cervical extension in a positive test. While this can be true, I have found some patients have an increase in symptoms with cervicothoracic extension instead. Even though this doesn't fit the normal findings for a "positive test," the fact that a proximal motion changes the symptoms does qualify as being positive for neural tension. The point is we must make sure we follow the 3 rules for determining if a Slump Test is positive, even when it's not our typical positive test.
James Heafner PT, DPT, OCS:
Owner and lead physical therapist at Heafner Health, cash-based physical therapy in Boulder, CO. Areas of expertise include orthopedic and manual therapy, functional movement, pain science, and movement science.
In May 2013, I earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University. After graduating from the Harris Health Systems Orthopedic Residency in October 2014, I moved to Boulder, CO. Since living in Boulder, I have started my own cash-based PT practice, earned my OCS certification, and teach for the OPTIM Fellowship and COMT program in Houston TX and Scottsdale, AZ.
Chris Fox PT, DPT, OCS: Physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ and regularly lectures at the Phoenix Campus for NAU's DPT program and for Optim Manual Therapy's COMT program. Completed multiple advanced manual therapy courses implementing aspects of biomechanical analysis. He received his DPT from Saint Louis University in 2013. Completed Scottsdale Healthcare's Orthopaedic Residency (now Honor Health) in July 2014. He became a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist in 2015. Level I Expert in FMS and SFMA , Kinetacore FDN Level 1 certification, and IASTM Technique course completion. He would like to pursue further education in McKenzie Technique, Dry Needling, Strength & Conditioning, Orthopaedic and Manual Therapy.
Brian Schwabe PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS:
- Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist (SCS) at Elite OrthoSport in Santa Monica, CA which specializes in treating collegiate/professional athletes and clientele from the Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica areas.
- USC Sports Residency Trained Physical Therapist (<1% of all PT's residency trained)
- DPT from Saint Louis University
- Future plans/interest include:
1. USAW, SFMA & Catapult Systems technology for NBA teams
2. Pursuing a position as a sports physical therapist &/or Strength coach for a Division 1 athletic medicine department or professional sport team.
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