Monday, January 28, 2013

Gaenslen’s Test

Purpose: The test can help distinguish between lumbar spine involvement and SI joint dysfunction.

Patient/Therapist Position: Pt is supine with crease of knee at edge of table. The leg being tested is hyperextended at the hip so that it hangs over the table while the other leg is flexed at the hip and knee.
Procedure: Once the pt is in the proper position; the pt actively holds the non-tested leg into hip flexion during which time the PT stabilizes the pelvis and applies passive pressure to the tested leg, in order for it to stay on the table. The PT applies overpressure so that the tested hip is put into further extension and adduction.

*Note- Unaffected side/leg should always be tested first.

Interpretation: + indication when pain is reproduced with comparable symptoms.  This positive test is indicative of SI joint, pubic synthesis instability and/or L4 nerve root lesion.

Statistics: Sensitivity 31-37%, Specificity 71-77% , +LR 1.84 to 2.21 , -LR .65 to .66


Therrien, Jason and Finley, Katie. Gaenslen’s Test”. Web 2012.
P. van der Wurff, et. Al. Clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint. A systematic methodological review. Part 1: Reliability.” Man Ther. Volume 5, Number 1, February 2000. Pgs. 30–36.


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