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Spurlings Test

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Other Names

  • Maximal Cervical Compression Test
  • Foraminal Compression Test
  • Spurling's Test


Spurlings Test
Illustration of Spurling's Test[1]
  • Evaluate for etiology of neck pain or radicular symptoms in upper extremity


  • The patient is seated
  • Examiner is in a position to apply axial load to the top of patients head
  • Patient then places neck in extension, lateral rotation in the direction of the patients symptoms
  • Examiner applies an axial load
  • Repeat with head rotated to the unaffected side
  • Positive Test:
    • Reproduction of pain radiating into upper extremity



Cervical Radiculopathy

  • Tong et al[2], Shah et al[3], Wainner et al[4]
    • Sensitivity: 30% - 93%
    • Specificity: 74% - 95%
    • LR+: 1.9 - 18.6
    • LR-: .07 - .75

See Also


  1. Image courtesy of https://mobilephysiotherapyclinic.in, "Spurling's Test"
  2. Tong HC, Haig AJ, Yamakawa K. The Spurling test and cervical radiculopathy. Spine. 2002; 27: 156-159.
  3. Shah KC, Rajshekhar V. Reliability of diagnosis of soft cervical disc prolapse using Spurling’s test. Br J Neuro-surg. 2004; 18: 480-483.
  4. Wainner RS, Fritz JM, Irrgang JJ Boninger ML, Delitto A, Allison S. Reliability and diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination and patient self-report measures for cervical radiculopathy. Spine. 2003; 28:52-62.
Created by:
John Kiel on 17 July 2019 23:50:36
Last edited:
18 March 2024 10:35:15