A REVIEW OF THE SPURLING TEST FROM HEALTH SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS

Main Article Content

Bruce Fellows
Mathew Dimond

Keywords

Spurling Test, Physical Therapy, Orthopedic Testing

Abstract

Objective: This review identifies potential variations of a common and valid orthopedic test, known as Spurling test, by cross-referencing textbooks used within health science curriculums.


Methods: Information was gathered by conducting an onsite university library search, including the relevant texts included within the standard institutional reference for National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), The National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). This yielded 11 orthopedic textbooks, that included descriptions of the Spurling test and interpretations of the findings. Data was reported in the form of descriptive statistics.


Results: Of eleven texts, 81% included side-bending as part of Spurling test, while 54% included extension and 45% included rotation. Only 18% recommend the use of flexion, axial blow, or a neutral starting position. As a stand-alone plane of motion, side bending is most commonly reported, while the most common combination of movements include a combination of side-bending, rotation, and extension.


Conclusion: The results of this study reveal inconsistencies in the description of Spurling test among the recommended reference text list provided by the NBCE. Editors and authors alike should take special care to reduce inconsistencies and minimize variability of testing procedures, in order to facilitate consistent application and to best represent the current literature.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 27 | SPURLING TEST Downloads 0

References

1. Shields CB, Shields LB. R. Glen spurling: surgeon, author, and neurosurgical visionary. J Neurosurg 2002 Jun;96(6):1147-1153. doi: 10.3171/jns.2002.96.6.1147. PMID: 12066921
2. Jones SJ, Miller JMM. Spurling Test. 2020 Sep 3. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–. PMID: 29630204
3. Tong HC, Haig AJ, Yamakawa K. The Spurling test and cervical radiculopathy. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2002 Jan 15;27(2):156-9. doi: 10.1097/00007632-200201150-00007. PMID: 11805661.
4. Cipriano JJ. Photographic manual of regional orthopaedic and neurological tests. Baltimore, MD; LWW 2010: 70-71, 86-87
5. Coady D, Walker D, Kay L. Regional examination of the musculoskeletal system (REMS): a core set of clinical skills for medical students. Rheumatol 2004;43(5):633-9. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keh138. Epub 2004 Mar 30. PMID: 15054154
6. PT and PTA Program Textbook Survey [Internet]. Result of the PT and PTA Program
Textbook Survey. Available from: Textbook Survey (fsbpt.org) https://www.fsbpt.org/Portals/0/documents/free-resources/TextbookSurveyReport_Final20160920.pdf?ver=dcpa-KNMwTW5uYVeT8KzOw%3d%3d
7. SPEC reference texts [Internet]. NBCE. 2021. Available from: https://mynbce.org/spec-
reference-texts/
8. DeLisa JA. Physical medicine and rehabilitation principles and practice. Philadelphia: Pa; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2005: 50-51
9. Souza TA. Differential diagnosis and management for the chiropractor: protocols and algorithms. Sudbury, MA; Jones and Bartlett Publishers 2009:59
10. Haldeman S. Principles and practice of chiropractic. New York; McGraw-Hill, Medical Pub. Division 2008: 570
11. Ward RC. Foundations for osteopathic medicine. Philadelphia, PA; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2003: 443
12. Magee DJ. Orthopedic physical assessment. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders 2006:145
13. Hertling D, Kessler RM. Management of common musculoskeletal disorders: physical therapy principles and methods. Philadelphia, PA; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2006: 728-729
14. Dutton M. Orthopaedic examination, evaluation, and intervention. New York, NY; McGraw Hill Medical 2004: 779, 963
15. Evans RC, Evans RC. Illustrated orthopedic physical assessment. St. Louis, MO; Mosby/Elsevier 2001:120-125,138-141.
16. Cleland J. Orthopaedic clinical examination: an evidence-based approach for physical therapists. Philadelphia, PA; Saunders Elsevier 2005: 120,125,130
17. Murphy DR, Jacob G, Heffner SL. Clinical reasoning in spine pain, vol, II: primary management of cervical disorders using the Crisp protocol and case studies in primary spine care. Cranston, RI: CRISP Education and Research LLC; 2016:87
18. Thoomes EJ, van Geest S, van der Windt DA et al. Value of physical tests in diagnosing cervical radiculopathy: a systematic review. Spine J 2018;18(1):179-189. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2017.08.241. Epub 2017 Aug 31. PMID: 288
19. Shah KC, Rajshekhar V. Reliability of diagnosis of soft cervical disc prolapse using Spurling's test. Br J Neurosurg 2004;18(5):480-483 doi:10.1080/02688690400012350. PMID: 15799149
20. Takasaki H, Hall T, Jull G, Kaneko S, Iizawa T, Ikemoto Y. The influence of cervical traction, compression, and spurling test on cervical intervertebral foramen size. Spine 2009;34(16):1658-1662. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181a9c304. PMID: 1977060838857
21. Anekstein Y, Blecher R, Smorgick Y, Mirovsky Y. What is the best way to apply the Spurling test for cervical radiculopathy? Clin Orthop Relat Res 2012;470(9):2566-2572. doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2492-3. Epub 2012 Jul 18. PMID: 22806265; PMCID: PMC3830095