Infraspinatus Test

Learn about the Infraspinatus Test, a physical examination for shoulder injuries. Get access to a free template to assess your patient's shoulder accurately.

By Ericka Pingol on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is an Infraspinatus Test?

The infraspinatus is a large triangular muscle located in the posterior aspect of the shoulder. It originates on the scapula, just below the spine of the scapula, and inserts onto the greater tubercle of the humerus. The infraspinatus is one of four muscles that make up the rotator cuff, which provides stability to the shoulder joint. 

This muscle aid in abduction, external rotation, and arm extension at the shoulder. It also helps keep the humeral head from dislocating out of its socket. The infraspinatus is often referred to as the "backstop" muscle because of its role in preventing shoulder dislocation. Athletes tend to injure this muscle, which can cause significant discomfort.

A physical therapist or doctor may use the Infraspinatus Test to assess this muscle's strength, flexibility, and range of motion. This exam also measures the patient's ability to externally rotate and abduct the arm. With the test having a 90% sensitivity and 74% specificity, it can be considered clinically effective in the physical therapy realm.

During the test, the patient is asked to sit or stand with their arm at their side and elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. The patient is then asked to externally rotate their arm or turn their hand away from their body. The provider will then apply pressure to the patient's elbow while they attempt to resist the pressure.

This test can also be combined with others to increase effectiveness and evaluation of other areas. For instance, it can be combined with the Hawkins-KennedyImpingement Sign and the Painful Arc to test for potential subacromial impingement. It may also be clustered with the Drop-Arm Sign and the Painful ArcSign to assess a full thickness rotator cuff tear.

Check out this video to see how the Infraspinatus Test is performed:

Printable Infraspinatus Test

Download this Infraspinatus Test to assess shoulder injuries in your patients.

How does this Infraspinatus Test work?

Our free Infraspinatus Test template offers a comprehensive guide on performing the exam. You can follow these steps to get started:

Step One: Access the free template

Download the Infraspinatus Test form using the link provided on this page. Similarly, you may get a copy from the Carepatron app or our resources library.

Step Two: Explain how the test works

Discuss the exam with your patient and outline the procedure. Explain that you'll be testing their infraspinatus muscles and inform them what to expect.

Step Three: Conduct the assessment

You can use the steps listed on the template to perform the Infraspinatus Test. Make sure your patient is comfortable throughout the test.

Step Four: Interpret the results

After performing the exam, discuss the findings with your patient. Interpret the results accurately and determine any relevant treatment needs. Make sure to document all your findings for future reference.

Step Five: Provide feedback

Be sure to provide feedback to your patient regarding the test and explain any relevant recommendations or treatment options.

Infraspinatus Test Interpretation

The Infraspinatus Test is a handy tool for assessing shoulder integrity in a clinical setting. The results of the exam will help inform your diagnosis and treatment plan. A positive test result may indicate shoulder impingement, instability, rotator cuff tears, or bony malformations of the shoulder joint.

However, note that this test should be used with other tests and imaging studies to get an accurate diagnosis. The Infraspinatus Test should also be interpreted cautiously, as it can sometimes yield false positives.

Infraspinatus Test example (sample)

We have created an Infraspinatus Test example to better guide you in using this template in real life. You can use this sample for educational purposes or as a reference. You may view it here or download the PDF version.

Download the free Infraspinatus Test example (sample)

Infraspinatus Test example (sample)

When to use these Infraspinatus assessments?

The Infraspinatus Test should be used when there is pain or dysfunction in the shoulder joint that could suggest an underlying rotator cuff injury or weakness. You can also administer this exam to:

Assess range of motion in the shoulder joint

By performing the Infraspinatus Test, you can evaluate the extent of range of motion in the shoulder joint and determine if there is a restriction. You can also compare your patient’s range of motion in the affected shoulder to the unaffected one.

Identify any muscular weakness in the infraspinatus muscle

The Infraspinatus Test can indicate whether the Infraspinatus muscle is weak or not. It can also help you identify any muscular imbalances between the two sides of the body.

Determine the cause of shoulder pain and dysfunction

You can use this assessment to evaluate the cause of shoulder pain or dysfunction. This can help you determine what treatment is necessary to restore normal range of motion in the shoulder joint.

Monitor changes in strength throughout rehabilitation

This exam can also help monitor the progress of shoulder rehabilitation. It is important to assess the strength of a patient’s shoulder muscles before and after treatment to determine if the desired changes in strength have been achieved.

Develop a rehabilitation program for rotator cuff injuries

You can administer the Infraspinatus Test and other shoulder tests while developing a rehabilitation program for rotator cuff injuries. This test can provide insight into the role of muscle weakness in the shoulder joint and inform your decisions when designing an exercise program to improve strength and stability.

Benefits of these free Infraspinatus Test Templates

Our free Infraspinatus Test PDF template is quick and easy to use. Here are its benefits:

It's comprehensive

This template offers a step-by-step guide on performing the Infraspinatus Test, allowing you to accurately evaluate your patient's shoulder condition. You can also get results in minutes.

It's versatile

You can use this test in various healthcare settings, from primary care to physical therapy. This makes it an excellent option for diagnosing shoulder conditions in general and specialized practices.

It's convenient

This template is entirely digital, meaning you can access it from any device with an internet connection. You can also store results digitally for easy record-keeping.

It's easy to use

This template was designed with simplicity in mind. It requires minimal setup and no special equipment. Plus, a simple explanation is provided for each step, so you can easily explain it to your patients.

Why use this Infraspinatus app?

Are you a physical therapist looking for the perfect practice management software? Look no further than Carepatron!

Our revolutionary software offers a complete solution, helping to streamline your workflow from start to finish. With features like automated appointment scheduling, patient record tracking, and secure payment processing, Carepatron makes managing your patients' care effortless.

At Carepatron, we understand that physical therapists have unique needs. That's why our software gives you complete control over the clinical data you need to be successful. You can easily customize your intake forms and record patient information, helping to increase accuracy throughout your workflow. Plus, our intuitive dashboard allows you to effortlessly keep track of appointments, financials, and patient progress.

With Carepatron, you can manage complex billing scenarios with our secure payment processing system. And we make staying compliant a breeze, offering real-time reporting to help you stay in compliance with the latest regulations.

Try out Carepatron today and give your practice the boost it needs!

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How to score Infraspinatus Test?
How to score Infraspinatus Test?

Commonly asked questions

How to score Infraspinatus Test?

This test doesn't have a scoring system. Instead, it's used to assess a patient's shoulder condition. For example, if the patient reports pain or difficulty during the test, that could indicate an injury.

What are the benefits of the Infraspinatus Test?

The Infraspinatus Test is a great way to evaluate shoulder conditions and detect potential injuries early. This helps you catch problems before they become too severe and can help you create a treatment plan.

What does the Infraspinatus Test measure?

The Infraspinatus Test measures the strength of your patient's shoulder muscles, specifically the infraspinatus muscle. By testing this muscle, you can determine the overall condition of your patient's shoulder and detect any potential injuries.

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