Deltoids Special Tests

Anterior Deltoids Strength Test

To do:

With the client sitting, the therapist gets them to flex their shoulder to 90 degrees.

The therapist applies a downward pressure

Positive Sign:

The client is unable to resist gravity or the therapist’s force

Anterior Deltoids Length Test

To do:

With the client seated or standing, the therapist gets the client to extend their arm back

Positive Sign:

Limited range of motion or a stretch felt along the muscle.

Middle Deltoids Strength Test

To do:

With client sitting, the therapist places their arm into shoulder abduction

If the client can keep that position against gravity, the therapist applies a downward pressure

Positive Sign:

The client is unable to withstand the force of gravity or the therapist

Middle Deltoids Length Test

To do:

With the client seated or standing, the therapist gets the client to go into shoulder adduction

Positive Sign:

Limited range of motion or a feeling of stretch across the muscle

Posterior Deltoids Strength Test

To do:

With the client standing, the therapist gets the client to extend arm back

If the client can maintain this position, the the therapist applies a downward pressure on the arm

Positive Sign:

The client is unable to withstand the force of gravity or the therapist

Posterior Deltoid Length Test

To do:

With the client standing, the therapist brings the client’s shoulder into flexion.

Positive Sign:

Restricted range of motion or a stretch felt along the muscle

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