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Scapular Assistance Test | Scapular Dyskinesis Assessment

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Scapular Assistance Test

Scapular Assistance Test | Scapular Dyskinesis Assessment

The Scapular Assistance Test (SRT) is not so much a diagnostic test to assess whether a patient displays scapular dyskinesia, but rather a symptom modification test to examine if scapular stabilization in form of scapular retraction is able to reduce a patient’s shoulder complaint. Rabin et al. (2006) evaluated the SAT regarding its inter-rater reliability and found an inter-rater k = 0.53 in the scapular plane and a k = 0.62 in the sagittal plane. This means that this test has moderate to substantial inter-rater reliability.

To perform the SAT, the patient is in standing position
Then, fixate the clavicle and the scapular spine with one hand, while the other hand grabs the inferior angle of the scapula
At last, the patient performs elevation or abduction while the movement of the scapula is assisted.

The SAT test is positive if the patient experiences less pain during the assisted empty can in comparison with the unassisted empty can, which can indicate weakness of the scapular stabilizers. As a consequence, you might want to include scapular stabilization exercises in the rehab program for this particular patient.

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Another similar test that you might be interested in, is the Scapular Retraction Test (SRT).

 

References

Rabin A, Irrgang JJ, Fitzgerald GK, Eubanks A. The intertester reliability of the scapular assistance test. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2006 Sep;36(9):653-60.

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