Whipple Test

Access a free Whipple Test PDF template for your physical therapy practice. Streamline your documentation with our free form.

By Ericka Pingol on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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Understanding partial rotator cuff tear

A partial rotator cuff tear, a prevalent injury, typically happens in the shoulder, specifically affecting the supraspinatus tendon. This crucial tendon is key in arm lifting and rotation and contributes significantly to daily movements.

Partial tears occur when the tendon sustains damage but isn't entirely severed. They are frequently the result of repetitive overhead activities or abrupt downward pressure on the shoulder, commonly seen in sports or weightlifting scenarios.

Symptoms of a partial rotator cuff tear may include pain and weakness in the affected shoulder, limited range of motion, and difficulty completing daily activities. However, some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all.

Printable Whipple Test PDF

Download this Whipple Test to assess for partial rotator cuff tears.

What is the Whipple Test?

The Whipple Test is a diagnostic test used to assess for partial rotator cuff tears. It involves placing the patient's arm in a specific position and then having them resist while the examiner applies a downward force on the patient's forearm. This tests the strength and stability of the supraspinatus tendon.

To perform the Whipple Test, the patient is seated with their arm at their side. The examiner then holds the patient's elbow and wrist while the patient makes a fist and turns their palm upward. The examiner then applies downward force on the forearm while the patient resists by trying to straighten their elbow.

If the Whipple Test showed pain or weakness in the shoulder, it could indicate a partial rotator cuff tear. Damage to the supraspinatus tendon can cause pain and weakness when trying to resist downward force on the forearm.

However, it should be noted that the Whipple test is just one of many tests used in sports medicine to diagnose partial rotator cuff tears. Other tests, such as the drop arm test, the empty can test, and the lift-off test may also be used in conjunction with the Whipple test to confirm a diagnosis.

Whipple Test example (sample)

Our team has created a user-friendly Whipple Test template, including easy-to-follow steps for performing the test. This template also includes sections for your findings and notes, making streamlining your practice's clinical documentation easier.

In this sample template, we illustrate how you can use the form to record your patient's information and results for easier reference. Feel free to view the sample here or download a PDF copy.

Download our free Whipple Test example here

Whipple Test example

Treatment for partial rotator cuff tears

If a partial rotator cuff tear is diagnosed through one or more of these tests, treatment options may include the following:

  • Physical therapy: In most cases, this can help strengthen the muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff to improve function and reduce pain.
  • Corticosteroid injections: These can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation in the affected area.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or reattach the damaged tendon.
  • Rest and modified activities: Avoiding aggravating activities, such as overhead movements or heavy lifting, may help to promote healing.

Your patient's treatment plan will depend on their injury's severity and overall health. You may also conduct other diagnostic tests, such as MRI or ultrasound, to further evaluate the extent of the damage.

Benefits of using our free Whipple Test template

Carepatron's free Whipple Test makes it easy for you to perform this assessment and record patient results. Here are other benefits of using our template:

Fully digital

Our Whipple Test template is fully digital, meaning you can access and fill it out on any device, whether a desktop computer or a smartphone. This eliminates the need for paper forms and makes storing and sharing patient information easier.


You can easily customize our template to fit your specific needs. Whether you want to add more sections or change the layout, our template allows for flexibility to make it work best for your practice.

Efficient record-keeping

Using our Whipple Test template, you can efficiently keep track of patient results and easily refer back to them when needed. This can save you time and effort in managing patient information.

Improved accuracy

Our template collects all necessary information, reducing the risk of missing important details. This can improve the accuracy and quality of your patient records.

Why use Carepatron as your physical therapy software?

Carepatron is your go-to solution for all your physical therapy documentation and management needs. Here are some reasons why you should choose us:

  • Our templates are designed by experienced physical therapists, ensuring accuracy and relevance in the information collected.
  • We offer customizable templates to fit the specific needs of your practice.
  • Our user-friendly software is easy to navigate, making it convenient for busy healthcare professionals.
  • With telehealth options available, you can easily connect with your patients remotely and continue providing high-quality care.
  • Our software is HIPAA compliant to ensure the security and privacy of patient information.

Choose Carepatron for a seamless and efficient physical therapy experience for both you and your patients. Sign up now and take your practice to the next level!

Physical Therapy Software
What is the Whipple Test, and how does it relate to a superior labrum tear?
What is the Whipple Test, and how does it relate to a superior labrum tear?

Commonly asked questions

What is the Whipple Test, and how does it relate to a superior labrum tear?

The Whipple Test is a specific physical examination maneuver used to help diagnose conditions related to the shoulder complex, including superior labrum anterior to posterior (SLAP) tears, which involve the superior labrum.

Can the Whipple test diagnose all types of rotator cuff injuries?

While the Whipple Test can be a helpful screening tool, further imaging or diagnostic tests may be necessary for a definitive diagnosis.

Are there any risks associated with the Whipple Test?

No, the Whipple Test is a non-invasive and safe procedure. However, if performed improperly, it could cause discomfort or injury to the patient's shoulder.

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