haha bummer, I use this test all the time to help diagnose low back pain. Now it’s not the only thing I use but between the subjective, directional preference, and special testing you should still be in the right ballpark. I just never realized how low the diagnostic accuracy.

Original article here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4139762/pdf/jcca_58_3_258.pdf

PhysioPedia here: http://www.physio-pedia.com/KEMP_test


The objective of this review was to evaluate the existing literature regarding the accuracy of the Kemp’s test in the diagnosis of facet joint pain compared to a reference standard.


Several databases were searched. All diagnostic accuracy studies comparing the Kemp’s test with an acceptable reference standard were included. Included studies were scored for quality and internal validity.


Five articles met the inclusion criteria of this review. Two studies had a low risk of bias, and three had a low concern regarding applicability. Pooling of data from studies using similar methods revealed that the test’s negative predictive value was the only diagnostic accuracy measure above 50% (56.8%, 59.9%).


Currently, the literature supporting the use of the Kemp’s test is limited and indicates that it has poor diagnostic accuracy. It is debatable whether clinicians should continue to use this test to diagnose facet joint pain.

Keywords: Kemp test, joint, facet, pain, diagnosis, chiropractic




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