Manual Muscle Testing: Elbow Extension

Original Editor - Claire Knott

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Muscles Involved:[edit | edit source]

Patient Positioning[edit | edit source]

  • Prone with test side shoulder in ~90° abduction
  • Patient's test side forearm is hanging over side of plinth; upper arm supported on plinth to elbow.
  • For grades 0-2, the gravity minimal position is supported sitting with feet flat on the floor. The shoulder remains in the same position.

Therapist Position[edit | edit source]

  • At test side
  • Provide stabilization support just above elbow

To Test[edit | edit source]

  • Patient is to extend elbow to full available range
  • Grades 4 and 5 - The therapist will apply resistance over the dorsal forearm in the direction opposite to extension[1]
  • To satisfy grade 5 'normal muscle' performance criteria, the patient must have the ability to move through complete range of motion (active resistance testing) OR maintain an end point range (break testing) against maximum resistance.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hislop H, Avers D, Brown M. Daniels and Worthingham's muscle Testing-E-Book: Techniques of manual examination and performance testing. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2013 Sep 27.