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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders

, 13:245

Rehabilitation, physical therapy and occupational health

Abstract

BackgroundThe straight leg raise SLR neurodynamic test is commonly used to examine the sensitivity of the lower quarter nervous system to movement. Range of motion during the SLR varies considerably, due to factors such as age, sex and activity level. Knowing intra-individual, inter-limb differences may provide a normative measure that is not influenced by such demographic characteristics. This study aimed to determine normal asymmetries between limbs in healthy, asymptomatic individuals during SLR testing and the relationship of various demographic characteristics.

MethodsThe limb elevation angle was measured using an inclinometer during SLR neurodynamic testing that involved pre-positioning the ankle in plantar flexion PF-SLR and neutral dorsiflexion DF-SLR. Phase 1 of the study included 20 participants where the ankle was positioned using an ankle brace replicating research testing conditions. Phase 2 included 20 additional participants where the ankle was manually positioned to replicate clinical testing conditions.

ResultsThe group average range of motion during PF-SLR was 57.1 degrees SD: 16.8 degrees on the left and 56.7 degrees SD: 17.2 degrees on the right while during DF-SLR the group average was 48.5 degrees SD: 16.1 degrees on the left and 48.9 degrees SD: 16.4 degrees on the right. The range of motion during SLR was moderately correlated to weight −0.40 to −0.52, body mass index −0.41 to −0.52, sex 0.40 to 0.42 and self-reported activity level 0.50 to 0.57. Intra-individual differences between limbs for range of motion during PF-SLR averaged 5.0 degrees SD: 3.5 degrees 95% CI: 3.8 degrees, 6.1 degrees and during DF-SLR averaged 4.1 degrees SD: 3.2 degrees 95% CI: 3.1 degrees, 5.1 degrees but were not correlated with any demographic characteristic. There were no significant differences between Phase 1 and Phase 2.

ConclusionsOverall range of motion during SLR was related to sex, weight, BMI and activity level, which is likely reflected in the high variability documented. We can be 95% confident that inter-limb differences during SLR neurodynamic testing fall below 11 degrees in 90% of the general population of healthy individuals. In addition, inter-limb differences were not affected by demographic factors and thus may be a more valuable comparison for test interpretation.

AbbreviationsBMIBody mass index kg-m

SLRStraight leg raise

PF-SLRStraight leg raise performed with the ankle in plantar flexion

DF-SLRStraight leg raise performed with the ankle in dorsiflexion

MBQModified Baecke Questionnaire

VPTVibration perception threshold

SDStandard deviation

CIConfidence interval

ICCIntraclass correlation coefficient.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2474-13-245 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Benjamin S Boyd - Philip S Villa

Source: https://link.springer.com/







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