Performing the test: The patient is instructed to clasp both hands on the top of their head. The examiner then palpates the biceps tendon and instructs the patient to alternate contraction and relaxation of the biceps muscle. A positive test is indicated by feeling the biceps tendon contract on the uninvolved side and an absence of contraction on the involved side.
Diagnostic Accuracy: Unknown.
Importance of Test: The biceps brachii acts as a strong shoulder and elbow flexor as well as supinator. Placing the arms on top of the client's head put the shoulder and elbow in a position of flexion. In this position, having the patient contract their biceps tendon should elicit a strong muscle contraction. If the examiner is unable to palpate a muscle contraction at the biceps tendon, this could be indicative of a rupture of the long head of the biceps.
Note: these tests should only be performed by properly trained health care practitioners.