Cervical Spine Assessment

Upper Limb Tension Test / ULNT1/A

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Upper limb tension test 1

Upper Limb Tension Test 1/ ULTT1 / ULNT A for Cervical Radiculopathy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The upper limb tension test can be seen as the equivalent of the straight leg raise test for the neurological structures of the upper limbs.

According to Wainner et al. (2003), the ULTT1 or ULTTA has a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 22% for the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy. For every test, make sure to test the good side first.

The ULTT1 or ULTTA is designed to put stress on the median nerve, the anterior interosseous nerve, and the nerve roots of C5 to C7.

To perform the test, depress the shoulder, abduct the arm to 110° and flex the elbow 90°. Then externally rotate the shoulder to 90° extend your patient’s wrist and fingers and slowly extend the elbow. To aggravate the test, even more, you can ask your patient to perform lateral flexion in the opposite direction

If you are interested in the other Upper Limb Tension Tests, check out the links below:

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References

Wainner RS, Fritz JM, Irrgang JJ, Boninger ML, Delitto A, Allison S. Reliability and diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination and patient self-report measures for cervical radiculopathy. Spine. 2003 Jan 1;28(1):52-62.

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