Schepelmann test

What is Schepelmann Test?

Schepelmann test is used for the differential diagnosis of chest pain. There are several different reasons of chest pain like

  • Compression on the intercoastal nerve (intercoastal neuralgia),
  • The strain on the intercoastal muscles,
  • Rib fracture or a Rib subluxation.
  • Costochondritis,
  • Inflammation of the pleura (pleuritis)
  • Strain or stretching of the muscles present in the chest area.

The procedure of Performing The Schepelmann Test?

This test can be performed in two positions one is in a seated position, and the other is in a standing position.

Let me first demonstrate this test in a seated position. Don’t worry about the standing position procedure. You can perform the below-mentioned procedure in a standing position also. Therefore, the patient’s position will change from seated to standing rest all the procedures will remain the same.

Position of the Patient – The patient is in a seated position with their arms resting by their side.

Now the examiner will ask the patient at which side they feel pain?

Lets us suppose a patient is a man, and he said he is having pain on the right side of the rib cage.

Right Side Bending

So the first thing the examiner will do is he will watch how the patient actively bends towards the right side. The patient will bend as far as he can. And after bending towards the right side, the examiner will ask him to straighten up.

Left Side Bending

After straightening up the spine, the examiner will ask him to bend towards the left side (opposite side) of the pain.

Assessment

Once bending towards the left and right sides got completed, the examiner will ask the patient specifically where he felt the pain.

Did he feel the pain when he bent towards the pain side (right side)? or did he feel the pain when he bent away from the pain side (left side).

What type of pain did he feel? And how to point to that area where he felt the pain? This could be a couple of different things.

A positive schepelmann test is an increase in pain or if the pain is evoked during moving either to the left side or the right side.

If the patient is moving towards the pain side (right side) and if the pain increases, it can be due to

If the pain increases when the patient moves away from the side of pain (left side), then it can be

  • An indication of costochondritis,
  • It can also be an inflammation of the pleura (pleuritis). So you want to be very careful. or
  • It could be a strain or stretching of the muscles present in that area. Or
  • It could be a rib fracture.

Therefore rib fractures are painful on any movement of the spine. Therefore, if you move any side of the spine, either the left side or right side, if there is a rib fracture, then it would be painful. A video demonstration of Schepelmann’s test (above-explained procedure) is mentioned below.

You May Also Read 

Rib Test 

Sternum Compression test – Indicates rib fracture or rib dislocation or strain in the intercoastal muscles or imapaired vertebral or coastal mobility

Rib Compression Test – Indicates impaired costosternal or costovertebral joint or a rib fracture.

Thoracic Spine Test 

Ott Sign – For Measuring the ROM of the Thoracic Spine

Sacroiliac Joint Tests

Mennell’s Sign / Mennell’s Test – Used to assess degenerative processes in the sacroiliac joint.

Springing Test – To detect functional impairment in the Thoracic & Lumbar spine & Sacroiliac Joint.

Gaenslen’s Test – To detect any pathology or dysfunction around the sacroiliac joint.

Standing Flexion Test/ Standing Forward Flexion Test – To assess sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Faber Test / Patrick’s Test – Used to assess the pathology or dysfunction at the hip joint, muscles around the hip joint, and at the sacroiliac joint.

Cervical Tests 

Cervical Flexion Compression Test –  To identify if there is a Herniated disk in the Cervical spine.

Jackson Compression Test –  To Detect Cervical Radiculopathy (Cervical Nerve Root Compression).

Spurling Test – For Diagnosing Cervical Radiculopathy.

Cervical Distraction Test – To detect the presence of cervical radiculopathy.

O’Donoghue Test – Helps in differentiating between muscular pain (strain) and ligamentous pain (articular problem) in the cervical spine.

Soto Hall Test – For Detecting Problem in Patient’s Neck (Cervical Spine).

Maximum Compression of the Intervertebral Foramina Test of Cervical Spine – For Detecting Facet Joint Dysfunction in the Cervical Spine.

Some other Tests

Pelvic Ligament Tests – used for the assessment of the pelvic ligaments.

Supported Forward Bend Test (Belt Test) – helps in differentiating lumbar pain and sacroiliac pain.

Adam’s Forward Bend Test – For detecting the presence of scoliosis (either functional or structural).

Noble Compression Test/Noble Test –  To assess pain coming from iliotibial band syndrome.

Neer Test –  For detecting the presence of shoulder impingement syndrome.

Resources

Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System: Examinations-Signs-Phenomena by K. Buckup

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