Shoulder Assessment

Joint Play Shoulder | Basic Shoulder Assessment

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Joint play shoulder

Joint Play Shoulder | Basic Shoulder Assessment | Physiotherapy Exam

Shoulder Joint Play movements of the Glenohumeral joint are performed to test the capsular apparatus on laxity or stiffness.

The joint play movements in the glenohumeral Joint that are commonly performed are:

  • AP and PA glide of the humerus
  • Lateral distraction of the humerus
  • Traction or caudal glide
  • Caudal glide in 90 degrees of Abduction

Unless mentioned will perform all of those joint play movements in the maximally loose pack position which is 40° to 55° of abduction and 30 degrees of horizontal adduction.

For the AP glide of the humerus have your patient in supine lying position at the edge of the table. Then fixate your patient’s arm with your outer hand between your upper arm and your body and with your inner hand translate the humerus posteriorly.

For the PA glide of the humerus have your patient in supine lying position with the shoulder off of the table. Then fixate your patient’s arm between your body and your upper arm, grab onto the humerus in your patient’s armpit with your other hand, fixate the coracoid process, the scapula, and acromion, and then translate the humerus from posterior to anterior.

For lateral distraction fixate your patient’s arm at the elbow, grab on to the humerus in your patient’s armpit and then move the humerus laterally.

For the Caudal glide or traction palpate the joint line with one hand and then perform longitudinal traction of the humerus over the wrist. If your patient has elbow problems you can also grab on to the humeral epicondyles for all joint play movements. Make sure to always pull from your whole body instead of just your arms to make it as easy as possible for yourself

For the caudal glide in 90° of abduction, fixate your patient’s arm between your body in your own upper arm bring the shoulder into 90° degrees of abduction, and perform a caudal glide with your other hand For even more joint play movement you can add angulation with your body.

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