Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Henry C. Wessman


Electrodiagnosis -- instrumentation; Range of Motion, Articular


The American Medical Association (AMA) currently accepts range of motion measurements, particularly spinal measurements obtained by an inclinometer, as reliable and accurate. Reproducibility of intra-subject results are considered high, but intertester reliability has not been addressed.

With the help of three physical therapists trained in the use of the Cybex EDI 320® inclinometer, 10 subjects were tested on three consecutive days by each tester to obtain measurements of lumbar flexion, corresponding hip flexion, lumbar extension, corresponding hip extension, and lateral flexion. Straight leg raise measurements were also obtained for validity measurements as requested by the AMA.

Results of this study showed good reliability for lumbar flexion which corresponds well with other studies. Hip flexion and straight leg raise measurements were also reliable. Lumbar extension, hip extension, and lateral flexion were shown to be unreliable.

These results indicated problems in testing procedures as well as the device itself. Measurements obtained by the Cybex EDI 320® inclinometer for disability ratings, making treatment guidelines, and showing progress is especially questionable. Further research is recommended.