Schober Test (for Ankylosing Spondylitis)

Purpose is to measure the ability to flex the L-S spine [patients with ankylosing spondylitis have fused vertebrae that can’t flex]

Identify the “Dimples of Venus” [a bona fide medical term, despite the pictures below], which lie directly over the sacroiliac joints, & mark a dot between them at midline.


Measure 15 cms up the spine & mark another dot.

Have the patient flex the spine as much as possible.  The dots should separate by at least an additional 5 cms.  If not, order a sacroiliac film [not an L-S Spine series].

Of course, severe back pain due to a simple strain may preclude full flexion.  In that case, measure again when they’re all better.