This is Brent of the Brookbush Institute,
and in this video we're going over two
special, or orthopedic tests for the
shoulder. We're going to go over the
empty can test and the full can test.
These are generally used as indicators
of impingement and/or rotator cuff tears,
specifically the supraspinatus. I'm
going to have my friend, Melissa, come out.
She's going to help me demonstrate. Now,
we're going to start with the empty can
test, because this test was around first.
I'm going to go ahead and have Melissa
hold her arms out to 90 degrees of
abduction. What I'm going to do is I'm
going to press down. I'm going to note
how strong is Melissa into abduction,
especially on the symptomatic side.
I'm then going to have her turn her
thumbs down. I'm going to bring her into
the scapular plane, which is 30 degrees
of horizontal adduction, and I'm going
to press down again. If I press
down again, and this position is weaker
on her symptomatic side, this may be an
indicator of impingement and/or rotator
cuff damage, specifically to the
supraspinatus. I could add a little bit
more provocation to this by just simply
asking, "Does this replicate your symptoms?"
Now, my guess is that the idea behind
this test was in this position, maybe
your deltoid couldn't contribute to as
much abduction, and that that would place
more stress on your supraspinatus. But,
that's not exactly how things work out.
Your deltoids and supraspinatus
are both very involved in
abduction in both positions. And what we
find is that the full can test, which
was actually the first part of this test,
is just as specific and sensitive as the
empty can test. So, we're going to start
over and show just the full can portion.
Go ahead and bring your arms up.
She's at 90 degrees with her thumbs
pointing up. I'm going to press down- a
little different than the empty can test,
I'm going to try to note differences
between her symptomatic and asymptomatic
sides. I'm going to ask her, "Does this
Does this provoke your symptoms?" No. So, in
Melissa's case, this is not her
concordance sign. She has a negative full
can test. We also notice she had a
negative empty can test. Now, as I said
before, guys, these two tests have very
similar specificity and sensitivity. I
don't see a reason to use one over the
other, unless you happen to be putting
these tests inside of a testing cluster
and it asks for one of them specifically.
Personally, I probably would not use the
empty can test, because it's just more
steps, and it's more complexity that may
actually reduce my test
reliability. When you're doing any sort
of special testing, you have to keep in
mind that this is just one clue in a
whole battery of tests, as well of as
our subjective assessment that's going
to help give us some indicators of
whether or not this is impingement,
rotator cuff damage, etc. Now, if that was
her concordance sign- this was the test
that as soon as I put my hands down, she
was like, "That's it. That's my pain," that's
the stuff you guys need to put an
asterisk by, because that's the quick
test that we'll use session after session.
Put your arms up. Does that hurt? Ow, yes. Okay,
that hurts. Great. I'm going to do some
interventions. I'm going to kind of work
through that hypothesis. And then, even
after a couple interventions, go ahead
and have her throw her arms back up. "Does
that feel any better?" Yes. Good. Those
interventions were successful. Alright,
so there you have it- the full can
test and the empty can test. Make sure you
keep in mind that these tests are only
clues and should be used within clusters
and be rated against your subjective
assessment and your hypothesis. I hope
you guys learned a lot from this video.
I'll talk to you soon.