Simple anatomical information improves the accuracy of locating specific spinous processes during manual examination of the low back.
ABSTRACT The objective of the study was to test whether a teaching protocol including simple anatomical information on the surface anatomy of spinous processes, improves physiotherapy students' ability to accurately locate selected thoracic and lumbar spinal segments - T12 and L3. First year physiotherapy students were allocated to Group 1 (n=35) and Group 2 (n=34). Both groups were taught to identify spinous processes by counting up from the sacrum, but Group 2 received supplementary anatomical information on the shapes and vertical length of the tips of L5 to T12 spinous processes. The spinous processes of L3 and T12 were located by two experienced physiotherapists and marked on a model using an invisible skin marker. Volunteer students were asked to locate these spinous processes and accuracy was confirmed using an ultraviolet lamp. Students with supplementary anatomical information (Group 2) were significantly better at locating T12 (difference in proportions 36% (95% confidence interval 14 to 51%)) and both T12 and L3 (difference in proportions 33% (11 to 48%)). Group 2 students were also better than Group 1 students at locating L3 (difference in proportions 28% (4 to 48%)), but the difference was not significant. Including simple anatomical information when teaching manual examination skills improved the accuracy of locating specific low back spinal levels.
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ABSTRACT: For spinal diagnosis and treatment it is important to be able to identify spinal levels by palpation. The objective of this diagnostic study was to examine the validity of four palpation techniques to detect the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5). A physiotherapist examined 66 low back pain patients using first three techniques. Motion palpation (MP), palpation via the posterior superior iliac spines (PSIS technique) and palpation via the iliac crests (CI technique) were deployed in random order. The spinous processes identified using these techniques were marked using an UV marker. The fourth technique was the motion palpation using the previously visible marked landmarks PSIS and CI (MP+). X-rays were taken as a reference standard through replacing the markings by radio-opaque markers. The accuracy of the single techniques ranged from 45% to 61%. There was no significant difference between the individual techniques. If two techniques were in agreement the accuracy ranged from 58% to 78%. If three techniques were in agreement the accuracy ranged from 69% to 83%. This was a significant to highly significant improvement compared to single techniques. If there is agreement between palpation techniques, the accuracy can be significantly improved. This illustrates the need to combine techniques and to relate them to each other. Future studies should investigate combined techniques using marker for further anatomical structures.Manual therapy 02/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.math.2012.12.003 · 1.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Accurate measurements of spinal movement require reliable determination of anatomical landmarks. Current methods of identifying these are not sufficient reliable or valid for this purpose. A reliable and convenient method of placing markers on selected vertebra is needed to compare measurements between different testers, subjects and sessions. RESULTS: Two tester palpated T4, T7, T10, L1 and L4 spinal processes according to established criteria. They measured the position of spinal processes between C7 and the Posterior Superior Iliac Spine (PSIS) at the Pelvis independently using a flexible ruler placed on the spine. Subjects with a wide range of body heights but without visible spinal deformities were recruited for measurements. Reliability was calculated using absolute and relative values. Mean percentage position and 95% Confidence Intervals were calculated using the mean of both testers' measurement for all subjects.Twenty-two subjects participated. The mean distance between C7 and the PSIS level was 50.9 cm (SD: 3.5 cm). Relative reliability for all spinal processes was almost perfect (ICC: > 0.9). Absolute reliability values showed high agreement between testers. Percentage position of T4 was found to be situated 21% along the distance between C7 and the PSIS level, T7 at 39%, T10 at 54.1%, L1 at 70.9% and L4 at 86.1% accordingly. 95% Confidence intervals around mean percentage positions had a maximum at L1 with 2.8% range from upper to lower limit. CONCLUSIONS: The distance of three thoracic and two lumbar spinal processes can be reliably and accurately measured by independent testers, using a flexible ruler. Percentage positions between C7 and PSIS level correspond to spinal processes for subjects without visible deformities in the sagittal and frontal plane.BMC Research Notes 02/2013; 6(1):58. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-6-58
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 01/2010; 49. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.10.507 · 5.71 Impact Factor