Gaenslen Tests

Gaenslen Test is a physical examination used to assess hip joint pain and dysfunction. It involves extending the hip joint while the patient lies on their back.

By Bernard Ramirez on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is a Gaenslen Test?

Physicians and physical therapists use the as a physical examination to determine whether lower back pain or other spinal problems are present. It takes the name of German doctor Carl Franz Gaenslen, who developed the method.

The patient is asked to do the test while lying on their back on an examination table, holding one of their legs flexed as the examiner gradually raises the other leg. The patient is then instructed to lean toward the fully extended leg as the examiner extends the other leg. In individuals who have specific spinal disorders, this action can cause discomfort as it strains the lower back's muscles and joints.

The test helps the examiner locate probable spinal issues such as spinal stenosis, nerve root compression, or arthritis. One of these conditions may be present if the patient complains of pain during the exam.

Although some patients may find the Gaenslen test uncomfortable, it is a useful diagnostic technique that aids doctors in identifying the root causes of lower back pain and other spinal problems. It is significant to remember that the test is not always definitive and that more testing and assessment may be required to provide a precise diagnosis.

Have a look at this video to see how the Gaenslen Test is performed:

Printable Gaenslens Test

Download this Gaenslens Test to assess hip joint pain and dysfunction

How does this Gaenslen’s Test work?

Gaenslen's Test is used to identify lower back pain and other spinal problems. It may be done in a doctor's office or a physical therapy facility, and it is a swift and simple test. Detailed instructions for carrying out the Gaenslen's Test are provided below:

Step One: Position the patient

On an examination table, the patient is instructed to lie on their back with their legs completely extended.

Step Two: Lift one leg

With one hand, the examiner should hold the patient's lower leg and ankle, and with the other, the upper leg and knee. The patient's leg should then be carefully raised toward the chest.

Step Three: Ask the patient to hold the leg

The examiner instructs the patient to hold the lifted leg in a flexed position.

Step Four: Extend the other leg

The examiner will then fully extend the opposite leg on the table while the patient maintains the flexed leg.

Step Five: Apply downward pressure

The examiner must next direct the patient to lean toward the extended leg while maintaining hold of the flexed leg by placing their free hand under the patient's sacrum. The lumbar spine is tense while the examiner moves downward pressure on the patient's sacrum.

Step Six: Repeat the test

To compare findings, the examiner should repeat the test on the opposite leg.

Step Seven: Observe for signs of pain

The examiner should record the location and severity of any pain that the patient feels during the test.

Step Eight: Perform additional diagnostic tests

The examiner may conduct extra diagnostic tests or send the patient to a specialist for further assessment if the patient complains of pain during the examination.

It's crucial to remember that only licensed medical experts should carry out Gaenslen's test. Excessive force or improper technique might harm the spine or exacerbate pre-existing conditions. Not all individuals should undergo the test, especially those with certain medical disorders or mobility issues. Before taking Gaenslen's test, patients should discuss the risks and advantages with their healthcare physician.


Gaenslen's test has no specific grading scheme. The exam is a diagnostic tool to assess spinal disorders or lower back discomfort. Instead of Gaenslen’s Scoring, the examiner keeps an eye out for the patient's expressions of pain or discomfort during the test, especially in the lower back or around the sacroiliac joint. Information concerning probable spinal disorders, including arthritis, nerve root compression, or spinal stenosis, can be identified by the location and severity of the pain.

During the test, the examiner may also note any restrictions in the patient's range of motion or muscular strength, which can assist in further whittling down the list of possible reasons for their symptoms. The healthcare professional can accurately diagnose the patient and create a suitable treatment plan based on the findings of Gaenslen's test and other diagnostic tests, including X-rays or MRIs.

In certain cases, the examiner may use a visual analog scale (VAS) or numeric rating scale (NRS) to assess the severity of the patient's pain. This is a method of measuring the intensity of the patient's pain, however, it is not a specific Gaenslen's scoring system.

Overall, Gaenslen's test is used as a diagnostic tool to assess lower back pain and other spinal disorders based on the patient's pain response and other apparent restrictions or abnormalities, rather than being scored in the traditional sense.

Gaenslen example (sample)

Lower back discomfort and other spinal disorders are evaluated physically using the Gaenslen test. The sacroiliac joint, situated at the base of the spine where it joins the pelvis, is tested through a series of maneuvers. 

It is a helpful diagnostic tool that may assist medical professionals in determining the cause of a patient's discomfort and creating a suitable treatment plan. We have additional in-depth material, including videos and step-by-step instructions, if you're interested in learning more about the Gaenslen test. 

Download this Gaenslens Test Example (Sample) here:

Gaenslen example (sample)

When to use these Gaenslen assessments?

The Gaenslen test is a suitable examination to use for assessing lower back pain and other spinal problems. It is a quick, simple, non-invasive process that can be performed in a clinical setting, making it a helpful diagnostic tool for healthcare professionals.

The Gaenslen test is frequently administered to patients who have lower back discomfort or other symptoms that might point to a spinal problem, such as:

Pain in the lower back or buttocks

The Gaenslen test can assist in identifying if discomfort in the buttocks or lower back is coming from the sacroiliac joint, which is situated at the base of the spine where it joins the pelvis.

Difficulty walking or standing

Patients with spinal conditions may have mobility issues if they have trouble standing or walking. The Gaenslen test can assist in locating the issue's root cause and directing the most suitable course of action.

Stiffness or limited range of motion

Stiffness or restricted range of motion in the lower back or hips may be experienced by patients with spinal disorders. 

Pain during certain activities

Patients who complain of discomfort when sitting down or bending over may have a spinal problem aggravated by these motions. 

Who is this Gaenslen Test PDF for?

Lower back discomfort and other spinal disorders are evaluated physically using the Gaenslen test. A skilled healthcare provider with expertise in spinal health often performs it. The following list includes some of the specialists who could employ the Gaenslen exam in their work:


Chiropractors utilize the Gaenslen test as part of a thorough physical examination. In patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, chiropractors may perform spinal manipulation to increase joint mobility and lessen discomfort.

Physical Therapists

When evaluating patients with suspected sacroiliac joint dysfunction or lower back discomfort, physical therapists employ the Gaenslen test as a component of a thorough evaluation. The exam aids in locating painful spots and can be used to decide the best course of treatment, which may involve manual therapy to increase joint mobility or exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joint.

Orthopedic Surgeons

The test aids in determining whether there is sacroiliac joint soreness or pain and can help with a precise diagnosis. To cure pain and enhance joint function, orthopedic surgeons may advise non-surgical therapies, like physical therapy, or surgical procedures, such as joint fusion or replacement.

Sports Medicine Physicians

When evaluating athletes with suspected sacroiliac joint dysfunction or lower back discomfort, sports medicine doctors employ the Gaenslen test. The test aids in choosing the most effective course of treatment, which can involve rest, physical therapy, or other therapies.

It is crucial to remember that the Gaenslen test should only be carried out by licensed medical experts who are knowledgeable about spinal health and are familiar with the technique. The Gaenslen test is only one of several tests that may be performed to identify spinal problems. To confirm a diagnosis and create a suitable treatment plan, additional diagnostic procedures, including X-rays or MRI scans, may be required.

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Benefits of these free Gaenslen Test Templates

Using free Gaenslen exam templates has a number of advantages. Some of the primary advantages are as follows:


The availability of free Gaenslen test templates online makes them a practical resource for healthcare professionals who want to use the test in their work. These templates are simple to download and print for usage and are offered in several file types, including Word and PDF documents.


Healthcare workers may ensure they deliver the exam consistently and uniformly by using a standardized Gaenslen test template. To provide an accurate diagnosis and create a successful treatment plan, it is crucial that the results are reliable and accurate.


Healthcare workers may save time by using free Gaenslen test templates, which offer a pre-designed form with all the data needed to conduct the test. By streamlining the testing procedure and increasing productivity, medical professionals could attend to more patients and give better treatment.

Improved Documentation

A consistent structure is offered by free Gaenslen test templates for recording test results. This can make it easier for other healthcare professionals engaged in the patient's care to analyze and interpret the data and ensure they are appropriately documented. 


Healthcare providers can save costs using free Gaenslen test templates rather than generating and printing their own forms. Small practices or healthcare professionals operating in under-resourced environments will particularly benefit from this.

Overall, free Gaenslen test templates give medical practitioners a practical, dependable, and economical tool for conducting the test and recording the results.

Why use this Gaenslen Test app?

The Gaenslen Test app offered by Carepatron is an essential tool for healthcare professionals assessing patients with hip joint pain and dysfunction. This app enables healthcare providers to perform the Gaenslen Test quickly and accurately, making it an efficient and effective tool for patient evaluation.

Carepatron is the best place to use this type of app for several reasons. Firstly, Carepatron is a trusted healthcare technology provider that has developed a range of innovative apps that streamline healthcare workflows and improve patient outcomes. The Gaenslen Test app is just one example of the many high-quality healthcare apps that Carepatron has developed.

In addition to the quality of the app, Carepatron also offers excellent customer support to its users. The company has a team of highly trained professionals available to answer any questions or concerns that users may have. This level of support ensures that healthcare providers can use the app with confidence and ease.

Furthermore, Carepatron takes data privacy and security very seriously. The Gaenslen Test app is fully compliant with all relevant data privacy laws and regulations, ensuring that patient data is kept safe and secure.

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Who created Gaenslen Test?
Who created Gaenslen Test?

Commonly asked questions

Who created Gaenslen Test?

The Gaenslen test was created by the German physician Philipp Franz von Gaenslen in the late 19th century.

How to use Gaenslen Test?

To perform the Gaenslen test, the patient lies on their back while the examiner hyperextends one hip while the other hip is flexed towards the chest, which can help to identify tenderness in the sacroiliac joint.

How to score Gaenslen Test?

Gaenslen Test is not scored quantitatively. Instead, the test outcome is determined by whether or not the sacroiliac joint is painful or uncomfortable during the motion. If the patient feels any pain or discomfort in the sacroiliac joint while undergoing the test, it is deemed positive and might mean there is sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

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