Blumberg's sign is evoked by the slow compression of the abdomen, followed by a sudden release of the hand from the abdominal wall.
In subjects with peritonitis, compression of the abdominal wall causes pain, but this is more pronounced when the hand is suddenly released, interrupting the compression. For this reason, Blumberg's sign is also known as bounce tenderness . The maneuver is performed with the patient in a supine position.
Blumberg's sign is typically positive in acute appendicitis . More generally, this sign is positivized in case of peritoneal involvement ( peritonitis ), which may also be present in case of intestinal ulceration or a serious pelvic inflammatory disease.
Recall that, in addition to being generally positive to the sign of Blumberg, subjects with peritonitis often suffer from strong abdominal pain localized (initially) or diffuse (later), which force them to assume a fetal position (with their legs curled up on the abdomen ); the abdominal wall is usually very stiff (wooden abdomen or table); nausea, vomiting and fever may also be present. Since peritonitis is a medical emergency, it is advisable to immediately alert health workers when these symptoms occur.