Head, neck, and thoracic spine-related disorders are frequent causes of neuromusculoskeletalcomplaints. Establishing an accurate diagnosis for these conditions is expected to guide clinical management and improve patient care. This narrative review of the literature will provide an overview of the evidence-based orthopedic physical exams for many head, neck, and thoracic spine-related disorders. We have highlighted orthopedic physical exams that have demonstrated the highest diagnostic utility and pointed out when no such test exists. We encourage clinicians to utilize the best available orthopedic tests in an attempt to maximize their diagnostic accuracy and provide optimal patient care.
Author keywords: Evidence Based Practice; Chiropractic; Spine; Differential Diagnosis; Pain, Neck; Pain, Back; Cervical Radiculopathy; Injuries, Whiplash
Author affiliations: Assistant Professor, Palmer College of Chiropractic Life Science & Foundations Department; CSO: Doctor of Chiropractic, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN
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