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Slump Test

From Physiopedia



The Slump Test is a neural tension test used to detect altered neurodynamics or neural tissue sensitivity.[1]



The slump test is described differently among sources. The common factor among sources is the reproduction of pain as tension is applied to the dura during the test. The technique depicted below is adapted from Mark Dutton.


To begin the test, have the patient seated with hands behind back to achieve a neutral spine. The first step is to have the patient slump forward at the thoracic and lumbar spine. If this position does not cause pain, have the patient flex the neck by placing the chin on the chest and then extending one knee as much as possible.

If extending the knee causes pain, have the patient extend the neck into neutral. If the patient is still unable to extend the knee due to pain, the test is considered positive. 

If extending the knee does not cause pain, ask the patient to actively dorsiflex the ankle. If dorsiflexion causes pain, have the patient slightly flex the knee while still dorsiflexing. If the pain is reproduced, the test is considered positive.

Repeat test on opposite side.

Overpressure can be applied during any of the test positions.

[3] [4]


In patients with lumbar disc herniations, sensitivity was found to be 0.84 and specificity 0.83.[5]



References will automatically be added here, see adding references tutorial.

  1. Flynn TW, Cleland JA, Whitman JM. Users' Guide to the Musculoskeletal Examination: Fundamentals for the Evidence-Based Clinician. Buckner: Evidence in Motion; 2008.
  2. Dutton M. Orthopaedic Examination, Evaluation and Intervention. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; 2008.
  3. Kim Bevillard. Slump Test as described by Dutton . Available from: [last accessed 14/12/13]
  4. Physical Therapy Nation. Thoracic Sympathetic Slump Test. Available from: [last accessed 14/12/13]
  5. Majlesi J, Togay H, Unalan H, Toprak S. The sensitivity and specificity of the Slump and the Straight Leg Raising tests in patients with lumbar disc herniation. J Clin Rheumatol. Apr 2008;14(2):87-91.

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