Clinical tests of the sacroiliac joint. A systematic methodological review. Part 1: Reliability

Man Ther. 2000 Feb;5(1):30-6. doi: 10.1054/math.1999.0228.


In the literature concerning the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) there are numerous specific tests used to detect joint mobility or pain provocation. In this article the authors have reviewed 11 studies which investigated the reliability of these tests. The methodological quality of the studies was tested by a list of criteria developed by the authors. This list consisted of three categories: (1) study population, (2) test procedures and (3) test results. To each criterion a weighting was attached. The methodological score for nine out of the 11 studies was found to be acceptable. The results of this review, however, could not demonstrate reliable outcomes and therefore no evidence on which to base acceptance of mobility tests of the SIJ into daily clinical practice. There are no indications that 'upgrading' of methodological quality would have improved the final conclusions. With respect to pain provocation tests, the findings did not show the same trend. Two studies demonstrated reliable results using the Gaenslen test and the Thigh thrust test. One study showed acceptable reliability for five other pain provocation tests; however, since other authors have described contradictory results, there is a necessity for further research in this area with an emphasis on multiple test scores and pain provocation tests of the SIJ.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / pathology*
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement / methods*
  • Palpation / methods*
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design / standards*
  • Sacroiliac Joint / pathology*
  • Sacroiliac Joint / physiopathology*