The patient is in lateral position with the affected hip upward.
unaffected knee and hip should be flexed to flatten the lumbar spine curve.
The examiner Stands behind the patient and firmly stabilizes the pelvis/ greater trochanter with the left hand to prevent movement of the pelvis.
Then Grasps the distal end of the patient’s affected leg with his right hand and flexes the leg to a right angle at the knee joint.
Extends and abduct the hip joint.
Slowly lowers the leg toward the table -adducting the hip- until motion is restricted.
Make sure that the hip does not internally rotated and flexed during the test, and the pelvis must be stabilized, as allowing the thigh to drop in flexion and internal rotation would ‘give in’ to the tight tensor fascia latae (TFL) and not accurately test the length.
What does a positive Ober test mean?
Ober test is considered positive or negative in these conditions:
If the ITB is normal, the leg will adduct with the thigh dropping down slightly below the horizontal and the patient won’t experience any pain; in this case, the ober’s test is negative.
If the ITB is tight, the leg would remain in the abducted position and the patient would experience lateral knee pain, in this case, the ober’s test is positive.
Modified Ober Test
The modified Ober test is performed in the same fashion as the Ober test except that the knee of the tested leg is extended.
Ober & Modified Obers Test Accuracy
There are No studies support the accuracy of the Obers test for measuring iliotibial band tightness.
A study by Reese and Bandy was performed to determine the intrarater reliability of the Ober test and the modified Ober test for the assessment of IT band flexibility using an inclinometer to measure the hip adduction angle and to determine if a difference existed between the measurements of IT band flexibility between the Ober and the modified Ober test.
This study concluded that the use of an inclinometer to measure hip adduction using both the Ober test and the modified Ober test appears to be a reliable method for the measurement of IT band flexibility, and the technique is quite easy to use.
However, given that the modified Ober test allows significantly greater hip adduction ROM than the Ober test, the two examination procedures should not be used interchangeably as a measurement of IT band flexibility.
A contracted, nonelastic quadriceps muscle and shortened hamstring muscles cause an increase in the retropatellar pressure.
Shortening of the iliotibial tract can lead to chronic pain on the lateral side and over its connection to the lateral patellar retinaculum as well as leading to functional disturbances in the femoro-patellar joint.
Stretching the iliotibial tract often helps in lateral displacement of the patella with excessive lateral pressure.
Even though the tension in the iliotibial tract is greater when the knee is extended, Ober described the test with flexed knee.
In addition, when the knee is bent, the femoral nerve may be stretched during the course of the ober test.
If neurologic symptoms occur, such as paresthesias and/or radiating pain, then there is suspicion of L3–L4 nerve root irritation.
Pain over the greater trochanter suggests trochanteric tendinopathy or bursitis.
Tensor fasciae latae (tensor fasciae femoris):
Tensor fasciae latae originates from Anterior iliac crest.
Reese NB, Bandy WD. Use of an inclinometer to measure flexibility of the iliotibial band using the Ober test and the modified Ober test: differences in magnitude and reliability of measurements. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2003 Jun;33(6):326-30. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2003.33.6.326. PMID: 12839207.