Anterior Scalenes Special Tests

Anterior Neck Flexors Strength Test

To do:

With the client supine, the therapist gets them to abduct their arm 90 degrees, flex their elbow to 90 degrees and rest the back of their hands on the table.

The client then does chin tucks and lifts their head off the table.

The therapist applies pressure downward if the client is able to keep their head off the table by themselves.

Positive sign:

The client is unable to keep neck flexion against gravity or therapist’s pressure

First Rib Mobility Test

To do:

With the client seated, they rotate their head fully away from side being tested.

Next, the client fully flexes their head to their chest

Positive sign:

The client has limited neck flexion

Adson’s Test

To do:

With client seated, the therapist passively extends and slightly externally rotates their affected arm.

The therapist monitors the client’s radial pulse.

Next, the therapist gets the client to rotate their head towards the affected side, while slightly elevating their chin.

The client then takes a deep breath and hold for 15— 30 seconds.

Positive sign: 

Clients symptoms re-occur or the radial pulse goes away 


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