Upper Body Goniometric Assessment

Technique and potential restricting structures

By Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

For an introduction to goniometric assessment including definitions of specific terminology, defining a "good assessment," discussion on what goniometry measures and best use, check out: Introduction to Goniometry

A list of potential restricting structures and links to articles on techniques specific to those structures is included below.  The lists were compiled using various texts (1 - 8), clinical outcomes, and predictive models of postural dysfunction in an attempt to consider all of the muscular, articular, fascial and neural structures that may restrict each motion.

Printable PDF - Assessment Template

Shoulder External Rotation (1-2, 9-16, 20-21)

Shoulder External Rotation

Firm End Feel

90 - 95° PROM

Fulcrum: Olecranon ProcessMovement Arm: Olecranon process to styloid process of ulnaStability Arm: Vertical or horizontal

Restrictions

Muscle JointFasciaNerve

  • Glenohumeral Lig.
  • Coracohumeral Lig
  • Inferior Capsule
  • *Posterior Capsule

  • Clavipectoral Fascia
  • Pectoral Fascia

  • Brachial Plexus
  • (Slight bias toward Median Nerve?)

  • SC Joint Stiffness
  • AC Joint Stiffness

For techniques that may improve shoulder external rotation:

* Structures marked with an asterisk are not "true" restrictors of shoulder external rotation, but adaptive shortening and over-activity may alter glenohumeral (GH) arthrokinematics and impede end range shoulder external rotation.

Shoulder Internal Rotation (1-2, 9-17, 19-21)

Shoulder Internal Rotation

Firm End Feel

60 - 70° PROM

Fulcrum: Olecranon ProcessMovement Arm: Olecranon process to styloid process of ulnaStability Arm: Vertical or horizontal

Restrictions

Muscle JointFasciaNerve

  • Posterior Capsule
  • Inferior Capsule

  • Posterior Deltoid Fascia

  • Brachial Plexus
  • (Slight bias toward suprascapular and radial nerves?)

For techniques that may improve