The Twisted Story of Asymmetric Spinal Motion

06 October 2014 / Uncategorized / Comments Off on The Twisted Story of Asymmetric Spinal Motion

Asymmetric means not symmetric, or unequal. Asymmetry of spinal motion means more movement in some directions than others.

A physical exam finding of asymmetric spinal motion is a gateway to a Diagnosis-Related Estimate (DRE) class II rating in the The AMA Guides 5th Edition.

The AMA Guides 5th Edition in Chapter 15 The Spine on page 382 defines asymmetry of spinal motion as “Asymmetric motion of the spine in one of the three principle planes..” But the AMA Guides goes to a little more effort here to help the examiner by stating “To qualify as true asymmetric motion, the finding must be reproducible and consistent and the examiner must be convinced that the individual is cooperative and giving full effort.”

When documenting asymmetry of spinal motion in an impairment report for rating purposes, it is helpful to the reader if comments on muscle spasm, muscle guarding and employee cooperation are provided. These comments also makes the observation more compelling.

When reading a report which includes the finding of asymmetry of spinal motion look for comments on muscle spasm, muscle guarding and employee cooperation.

California PR-4 Reports are about reproducible observations and findings. Reports that are minimally supported may be more confusing than helpful, and lead to costly delay.

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