Diagnostic palpation of the spine: a review of procedures and assessment of their reliability

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1983 Dec;6(4):181-3.


Spinal palpation as employed by practitioners of manipulative therapy is a common diagnostic tool used to identify manipulable lesions. Three methods of diagnostic palpation are static palpation, active motion palpation and passive motion palpation. As a diagnostic technique, spinal palpation suffers from a lack of research on its statistical reliability. Assessment of the clinical efficacy of manipulative therapy would be better addressed if a statistically reliable method of palpatory diagnosis were developed.

MeSH terms

  • Chiropractic
  • Humans
  • Palpation / methods*
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis*