Trapezius Special Tests

Medial Trapezius Strength Test

To do:

With the client prone, the therapist brings the affected shoulder to 90 degrees abduction.

The client then external rotates their arm.

The client tries to hold this position, if successful the client  attempts to extend their arm as the therapist resists.

Positive Sign:

The client can’t hold the position against gravity or can’t resist the therapists pressure

Upper Trapezius Strength Test

To do:

With the client supine, the client abducts their arm to 90 degrees, flexes their elbow and rests the back of their hand on the table.

The client then extends their neck, while the therapist stabilizes the side being tested. The client then rotates their head away from the side being tested.

The client holds this position, if they can keep this position against gravity, the therapist applies pressure to the posterior head.

Positive sign:

The client is unable to hold the position or resist the therapists pressure.

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