Wright Test

Utilize the Wright test to check for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in your patients. Click here to download a free template and check out our guide on using it.

By Patricia Buenaventura on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What is a Wright Test?

The , also known as the hyper abduction test, is a test practitioners use to help diagnose Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Before proceeding with explaining the test itself, here’s a brief 101 on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a term used to describe a group of disorders wherein the nerves, arteries, or veins in the lower neck and upper chest area. What causes the syndrome can be unidentifiable or any of the following:

  • Anatomical defects (e.g. an extra rib)
  • Repetitive motions or injuries from activities (can be related to one’s job or sport)
  • Pregnancy
  • Bodybuilding
  • Weight gain
  • Tumor on the neck
  • Whiplash injury

The test is meant to check the onset of the symptoms and their radial pulse when the affected shoulder/arm is adducted and flexed.

Currently, there are no templates designed for the Wright Test. However, should you need a copy for reference, we’ve created a Wright Test template just for you. In it, you will see the following:

  • Basic information such as the patient's name, rater’s name, and date of examination
  • Instructions on how to conduct the test
  • Information on how to know if your patient is positive for the test
  • A dedicated space for patient results and additional notes you may have

Think you may want a copy of our template? Read the section below for a step-by-step on how to download and use our template.

Have a look at this video to see how the Wright Test is performed:

How does this Wrights Test work?

Access the Template

You can access and download our template by either:

  • Click the “Download Template” or “Use this Template” button above
  • Go to Carepatron’s template library on our website or app and search for “Wright’s Test.

Conduct the Test

Once you’ve downloaded the template and filled out the basic information at the top of the page, you may conduct the test.

You can refer to your downloaded template for instructions on the assessment. However, just in case you need the guide right at this moment, we’ll add them below.

  1. Have your patient hang their arms hang down loosely.
  2. Do the test on the affected arm.
  3. Slowly abduct the shoulder to 90 degrees first.
  4. Then, when at 90 degrees, rotate the arm for it to be facing forward.
  5. Flex the elbow to 90 degrees.
  6. Afterward, abduct the shoulder to 180 degrees.

While conducting the test, do note that:

  • The patient may be sitting or standing
  • You must palpate the patient’s radial pulse throughout the exam.

Interpret and Proceed with Further Testing

When you’re finished with the assessment, you can proceed with interpreting and recording your patient’s result. Here’s the test result guide you’ll find written on your template:

(+) Positive test if:

  • Weakening of the radial pulse.
  • Burning, pricking, or numbing sensation in the affected arm and/or hand.

To record your patient’s result, you simply have to tick either the negative or positive checkbox and write down any additional notes you may have. Afterward, if they’re positive, you can do further testing since the Wright Test is an insufficient basis for diagnosing. Some additional tests usually performed are:

  • Other physical examinations and provocative tests
  • Imaging tests
  • MRI of the chest
  • Arteriography
  • Venography


Since the test isn’t quantitative, scoring the Wright Test is simple and straightforward. You only have to check the negative or positive checkbox based on your observation and corresponding interpretation. 

When to use these Wright assessments?

One can utilize the Wright assessment and its corresponding template when the patient has the symptoms of any of the types of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. To help you out, here’s a list of the expected symptoms per type:

Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  • Pain or weakness in the neck, shoulder, or arm
  • Numbness and/or tingling in the hand or fingers
  • Muscle atrophy in hands

Venous Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  • Swelling, bluish discoloration/cyanosis, weakness, or heaviness in the affected arm or hand

Arterial Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  • Pain, coldness, lack of pulse, and color in the affected arm or hand

Aside from these, the practitioner may also use this test if the patient has any of the conditions or participates in activities that may become the cause of thoracic outlet syndrome if not recognized, diagnosed, or treated early on. 

Who is this Wright Test PDF for?

Any practitioner involved in diagnosing and treating Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can utilize a PDF copy of our Wright Test template. To be more specific, medical professionals who will benefit from having an editable template are the following:

  • General Practitioners such as Family Physicians
  • Physiatrist
  • Neurologists and neurosurgeons
  • Thoracic Surgeons
  • Vascular Surgeons
  • Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Psychiatrists
Physical therapy software positive benefit

Benefits of these free Wright Test Templates

Easy to Use

Not only is the Wright test short and easy to understand but the template itself is easy to use since you only have to tick the checkbox that matches your observation and write notes. There’s no need to undergo extra steps in order to obtain a copy of the template and record the patient’s results.

Fast Results

Without the need to set up equipment and with only six steps one needs to follow to conduct the test, you can quickly obtain results in less than 10 minutes maximum.

Encourages Communication

If the patient tests positive, this is a signal for you to proceed with further testing and ask your patient about the cause of the possible diagnosis. This can help formulate a treatment plan should the patient end up being diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.


Compared to other tests that may cost money for both the patient and the hospital/clinic, the Wright Test is an inexpensive assessment a practitioner may start with to eliminate other possible diagnoses.

Easily Accessible

With our digital Wright Test template, you can easily access and edit the template on any gadget you have on hand. And, if you save it on Carepatron, you can even share the template with fellow practitioners caring for the same patient by giving them access to view the results.


Köknel Talu G. Thoracic outlet syndrome. Agri. 2005;17(2):5-9.

How to use the Wright Test?
How to use the Wright Test?

Commonly asked questions

How to use the Wright Test?

You use the Write test by following the instructions provided and observing the radial pulse of the client throughout. 

Using the Wright Test template, on the other, is explained in the “How does this Wright Test work?” section. You may use the mentioned section for a step-by-step on how to download and use our template.

What are the benefits of the Wright Test?

You can administer the test quickly and immediately get results. 

For a full list of benefits of using the test and the template, please refer to the “Benefits of these free Wright test templates” section above.

What is the Wright test for?

It is one of the provocative tests used for diagnosing Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

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