Purpose of Test: To assess whether a herniated disc, neural tension, or altered neurodynamics are contributing to the patient’s symptoms.
Test Position: Sitting.
Performing the Test: Patient is seated upright with hands held together behind his/her back. The examiner instructs to the patient to flex his/her spine (slump), followed by neck flexion. The examiner then places his/her hand on top of head and has the patient perform knee extension, and dorsiflexion of foot. Finally, the patient is told to return the neck to neutral. The test is considered positive if symptoms are increased in the slumped position and decreased as the patient moves out of neck flexion.
Diagnostic Accuracy for Lumbar Disc Herniation: Sensitivity: .84. Specificity: .83. (“The sensitivity and specificity of the SLUMP and straight leg raised tests in patients with lumbar disc herniation”).
Importance of Test: This test's results can be interpreted in multiple ways. Like other neural tension tests, the test may indicate if a patient is experiencing symptoms related to nerves adhering to various tissues while travelling throughout the body. The patient may experience stretching, pain, or other neurological sensation in the area of adhesions. Another use for the test is detecting lumbar disc herniations. With the flexed lumbar spine and hip completed simultaneously with the extended LE, the sciatic nerve and its respective nerve roots are put on tension to detect the potential of a disc herniation. The results of the test should be interpreted based on the patient's pain/symptoms for which they are seeking treatment.
Note: tests should only be performed by a properly trained health care practitioner.