Cervical Spine Rotation Test - Ankylosing Spondylitis

Cervical Spine Rotation Test - Ankylosing Spondylitis

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Below is a transcript of a discussion between myself and one of our BJC physiotherapists, Rachael Butterworth about how to perform the Cervical Spine Rotation Test.

You will also find the video below, should you prefer to watch it.

Robert: Hey everyone, my name is Robert Russo, and I'm a rheumatologist at BJC Health. Today, we're going to show you a cervical spine rotation test used in the assessment of ankylosing spondylitis. To do that I'm going to call on Rachael Butterworth, who is a physiotherapist here at our practice. Thanks Rachael.

Rachael: Thanks Rob. So, I'm going to go through this cervical rotation test to assess for cervical mobility in ankylosing spondylitis patients.

The first thing we need to have is an inclinometer. What this does is measure the amount of degrees for which the neck is rotating. We place on the patient's forehead, so that it's sitting at zero, making sure that the patient is looking straight ahead to start off with.

Then we ask the patient to slowly turn the head towards the left as far as they can, making sure the upper body doesn't move, and then round to the right as far as we can. Here you can see Erol's right rotation is about 87 degrees. Back to the center, end.

Robert: Thank you very much Rachael for showing us that cervical rotation test, which is using the assessment of ankylosing spondylitis. So, was the range you measured for Errol normal?

Rachael: Yes, it was, relatively. Eighty five degrees was what Errol showed to both the left and to the right, and 90 is what we would call normal.

Robert: Is there problems with measuring cervical rotation tests?

Rachael: Yes, the inclinometer is very much dependent on how the therapist holds the inclinometer. Therefore it is more reliable to have the same therapist test and retest.

Robert: So, thanks again Rachael for showing us the cervical rotation test.

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