This technique assesses a patient's sensory abilities by asking them to discriminate between one or two nearby points of physical contact.

Performing the Test

  1. Using the two ends of an opened paper clip, touch both ends to the patient’s finger tips and hands
  2. Alternate this with a one-point touch and ask the patient to identify the stimulus as a one-point or two-point touch
  3. Normal minimum values for discrimination are: 2mm on finger pads, 3-8mm on toes, 8-12mm on palms, 40-60mm on back.


  1. Bickley, Lynn S. Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: 2003.
  2. Lincoln, Matthew, McSheffrey eds. Essentials of Clinical Examination Handbook. 6th ed. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Medical Society: 2010.