Reliability and validity of the active straight leg raise test in posterior pelvic pain since pregnancy

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2001 May 15;26(10):1167-71. doi: 10.1097/00007632-200105150-00015.


Study design: A cross-sectional analysis was performed in a group of women meeting strict criteria for posterior pelvic pain since pregnancy (PPPP). The scores on the Active Straight Leg Raise Test (ASLR test) were compared with the scores of healthy controls.

Objectives: To develop a new diagnostic instrument for use in patients with PPPP. The objectives of the present study were to assess the validity and reliability of the ASLR test.

Summary of background data: Various diagnostic tools are used to diagnose PPPP, but there is still a need for simple tests with high reliability, sensitivity, and specificity.

Methods: Reliability of the ASLR test was assessed in a group of 50 women with lumbopelvic pain of various etiologies and various degrees of severity. Sensitivity was assessed in 200 patients with PPPP and specificity in 50 healthy women. Sensitivity and specificity of the ASLR test were compared with the posterior pelvic pain provocation test (PPPP test).

Results: The test-retest reliability measured with Pearson's correlation coefficient between the two ASLR scores 1 week apart was 0.87. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was 0.83. Pearson's correlation coefficient between the scores of the patient and the scores of a blinded assessor was 0.78; the ICC was 0.77. In the patient group, the ASLR score ranged from 0-10; in the control group it ranged from 0-2. The best balance between specificity and sensitivity was found when scores 1-10 are designated as positive and zero as negative. With this cut-off point sensitivity of the test was 0.87 and specificity was 0.94. The sensitivity of the ASLR test is higher than the sensitivity of the PPPP test; an advantage of the ASLR test is the simplicity of measuring the score.

Conclusion: The ASLR test is a suitable diagnostic instrument to discriminate between patients who are disabled by PPPP and healthy subjects. The test is easy to perform; reliability, sensitivity, and specificity are high. It seems that the integrity of the function to transfer loads between the lumbosacral spine and legs is tested by the ASLR test.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiopathology*
  • Movement*
  • Pelvic Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pelvic Pain / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity