Schober's test

Schober's test is a physical examination used in physical medicine and rehabilitation and rheumatology to measure the ability of a patient to flex the lower back.


While the patient is in a standing position the examiner makes a mark approximately at the level of L5 (fifth lumbar vertebra). Two points are marked: 5 cm below and 10 cm above this point (for a total of 15 cm distance). Then the patient is asked to touch his/her toes while keeping the knees straight. If the distance of the two points do not increase by at least 5 cm (with the total distance greater than 20 cm), then this is a sign of restriction in the lumbar flexion. [1] This can be useful in examining a patient suspected of ankylosing spondylitis.


The test was first described in 1937 by Dr Paul Schober (March 11, 1865 - August 22, 1943), a German physician.[2][3]


  1. General Practice notebook
  2. Schober P (1937). "Lendenwirbelsäule und Kreuzschmerzen". Much Med Wochenschr. 84: 336–339.
  3. Paul Schober at Who Named It?
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