Abnormal Slump Test Findings
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.
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