Edmund M. Kosmahl, PT, EdD

NOTE: There are several methods for measuring the range of motion of the lumbar and thoracic spines. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages (no method is completely valid or reliable, and normal values are not well established for any method). The method illustrated here is a good compromise.

thoraco-lumbar rotation
Test Position
  • Subject sitting
  • Stabilize pelvis
  • Do not allow sidebending, forward bending or backward bending
  • Rotate thoracic and lumbar spines
Normal Range (unilateral)
  • 45o (American Medical Association)
Goniometer Alignment
  • Axis - center of superior aspect of head
  • Stationary arm - aligned with anterior superior iliac spines
  • Moving arm - aligned with acromion processes
Normal End Feel
  • Capsular or ligamentous

copyright 1999 E. Kosmahl