These easy spinal exam self tests can help you determine if you may have a vertebral subluxation.
The following 12 spinal exams may indicate the presence of vertebral subluxations. It is best to perform each of these tests on yourself each month. To safeguard the health of family members – including children – they should be tested as well. If you obtain a positive result on any of the tests, you should contact us as soon as possible.
For each of the following tests, stand in an upright, relaxed position. Your movements should be slow and gentle – never use jerky or forceful motions. If you cannot turn or bend the full distance, mark the appropriate box. If you experience any pain or discomfort, check that box as well.
Turn your head slowly to the right, then to the left. Do not move your upper body. You should be able to turn so that your chin is nearly parallel with your shoulder.
Bend your head slowly to the right, then to the left. Do not raise your shoulders. You should be able to bring your ears within an inch or two of your shoulders.
Bend your head slowly to the front, then to the back. You should be able to look straight up and straight down.
Turn, from the hips, to your left, then to your right. Do not move your feet or hips and keep your head in line with your upper body. You should be able to turn about 45 degrees in each direction.
Bend from the waist to the right, then to the left. You should be able to bend about 45 degrees in each direction.
Keep your back straight, your head in line with your upper body, and do not bend your knees. Bend forward, then backwards, from the waist. You should be able to bend forward until you are parallel with the floor, and backward far enough to be able to look straight up.
For these tests, you’ll need to stand in front of a full-length mirror or have a partner examine you. Close your eyes, take a few breaths and “shake” all the tension from your body. When you feel totally relaxed, open your eyes and remain perfectly still. Examine your reflection but don’t attempt to “correct” any postural problems – just note them.
You might find it easier to first make several straight lines – horizontal lines and one full length vertical line) on the mirror surface with tape, soap, or other easy-to-clean substance. Compare the “line” of your body to these lines and determine if you are parallel to the mirror lines, or if you are out of balance. Mark the appropriate box for each test.
Draw an imaginary line vertically through your body, from the top of your head, through your nose, chin, bellybutton and down to your feet. Is this line parallel to the vertical line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
View the posture analysis form.
Draw an imaginary line horizontally through your ears. Is it horizontal like the line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
Draw an imaginary line across your shoulders. Is it horizontal like the line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
Draw an imaginary line through your hips. Is it horizontal like the line on the mirror or is it out of balance?
For this test, you will need a test partner. Lie on your back on the floor (or other firm, flat surface). Make sure your body is as straight and relaxed as possible.
Test partner instructions: “Cup” the subject’s heels in your hands, with your fingers on the outside and your thumbs on the bottom of the heel, pointing toward each other. Press the feet together and push them up slightly (toward the subject’s head) with equal thumb pressure on each foot. Now, look down over the feet and see if one leg appears slightly shorter than the other. Look carefully, since the difference may only be a fraction of an inch. If there is a difference, note which leg looks shorter and mark it.
This test also requires a test partner. Lie face down in a relaxed position.
Test partner instructions: With the blunt ends of your fingers (not the tips, but the fleshy part where the fingerprints are), press on the ‘bumps” along the subject’s spine. Use moderate pressure – about the same amount you’d use to check the ripeness of a melon. Work from the base of the skull to the lower back, feeling for each individual spinal bone. If the subject experiences any tenderness, soreness or discomfort, circle the spot on this spinal chart that comes closest to the place you touched.
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