The "iliacus test": new information for the evaluation of hip extension dysfunction

J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2002 Mar;102(3):130-42.


This study confirms the clinical value of investigating the "iliacus complex" during evaluations of the low back. A new "iliacus test" isolates this iliacus complex component of limited hip extension. Designed for a single joint, the test isolates motion across the hip joint. Study results include the following: (1) in a comparison with the clinical standard, the Thomas test, data show that the two tests are significantly different in an asymptomatic population between the ages of 18 and 35 years; (2) with the exception of the standard Thomas test, the data show no statistical differences in range of motion when comparing the left side with the right side; (3) examiner-added, end-range pressure for assessment of range of motion when compared with the standard gravity-dependent end range of motion used in the Thomas test yields valuable new information; and (4) data provide a basis for population norms for each test--Thomas and iliacus--in gravity-dependent and examiner-produced tissue-feel end ranges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Examination
  • Range of Motion, Articular*