The purpose of this study was to determine intertherapist and intratherapist reliability in evaluating a method of measurement for backward bending. Twenty volunteers (age range: 2 1-32) were instructed to stand facing the wall: waist, hips, and toes touching the surface. Maintaining contact points, subjects were instructed to extend backward. Using a tape measure, the linear excursion from the wall to the jugular (suprasternal) notch of each subject was measured by two examiners, during two trials. Pearsons Product coefficient of correlation applied to the measurement results ranged from 0.83-0.89. One intraexaminer's results, however, were Qn the border of acceptability (r = 0.56). A t-test applied to the means of the measurements showed no significant difference at the 0.01 level between the trials. This study suggests that the method used is a reliable tool for measuring backward bending. With increased professional interest in back extension exercises for the treatment of spinal problems, the reliable measurement of this motion has assumed greater importance.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1987;8(12):574-577.