Telehealth examination of the lumbar spine

Rock P. Vomer, George G.A. Pujalte, Thomas A. Waller, Andre Abadin, Emma R. York, Shirley Albano-Aluquin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Telehealth evaluations of musculoskeletal conditions have increased due to the stay-at-home policies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back pain is one of the most common complaints in primary care. While telehealth may never supplant in-person evaluation of back pain, it is imperative in a changing world to learn to perform this evaluation via telephone or video. Virtual visits rely on history-taking and patient self-reported descriptions of pain elicited from self-palpation or specific movements while on the telephone with the clinician. Video examinations provide a unique way of evaluating the lower back compared to telephone because of the ability to visualize the actions of the patient. OBJECTIVE: To create an evaluation pathway for examination of the lumbar spine via telehealth. METHODS: Our group has created a step-by-step evaluation pathway to help physicians direct their patients through typical lumbar examination elements, including inspection, palpation, range of motion, and strength, special, and functional testing. RESULTS: We have developed a table of questions and instructions and a glossary of images of each maneuver to facilitate lumbar spine examination via telemedicine. CONCLUSIONS: This paper provides a guide for extracting clinically relevant information while performing telemedicine examinations of the lumbar spine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalTechnology and Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Information Systems
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics


Dive into the research topics of 'Telehealth examination of the lumbar spine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this