Abduction Stress Test

What is Abduction Stress Test?

The abduction stress test indicates a sacroiliac joint syndrome. This test is also performed to determine the insufficiency of the gluteus minimus or gluteus medius. And in some cases, it also indicates hip disorder.

Procedure of performing Abduction Stress Test

Position of the patient – The patient is in a lateral or side-lying position.

Position of the Examiner – The examiner stands laterally to the patient.

To understand the procedure, you’ll have to understand the side-lying position, a lateral recumbent position in which the individual rests on the right or left side, usually with the knees slightly flexed.

As in the side-lying position, both the legs of the examiner remain in an extended position with the knees in a slightly flexed position. And also, one leg remains in contact with the table or couch, and the other leg lies over that leg that remains in contact with the table or couch.

For example, in the right side-lying position, the right leg remains in contact with the table or couch, and the left leg lies over the right leg.

Now let’s discuss the procedure of performing the abduction stress test

  • In side lying position, one leg will remains in contact with the table or couch, and the examiner will ask the patient to abduct his other extended leg. After that, the examiner will gonna resist the abduction of that extended leg. let me elaborate this to you with an example

Let’s understand this with an example. Lets us suppose the patient lies in the right side-lying position. Therefore, his right extended leg with the slight knee flexed will remain in contact with the table or couch, and the patient will abduct his left extended leg (now, no knee flexion will take place).




  • After that, the examiner resists the abduction of the patient’s left extended leg.
  • In response, the patient attempts to continue abducting the left upper extended leg against the examiner’s resistance.

Test Results of the Abduction Stress Test

Increasing pain in the affected sacroiliac joint is an indication of sacroiliac joint irritation.

When the test is performed, patients with hip disorders may also feel or experiences increased pain. The site of the pain is suggestive of the type of the disorder.

If the patient is not able to abduct the leg or can only do so slightly, but does not experience any pain, this gives the examiner an indication of the insufficiency of the gluteus medius.

You May Also Read 

Nerve Root Disorder Test

Duchenne Sign – Used to assess a nerve root disorder.

Thomsen Sign – Indicates or signals sciatic nerve root irritation.

Tiptoe and Heel Walking Test – Identifies or pinpoints a nerve root disorder in the lumbar spine.

Sacroiliac Joint Tests

Mennell’s Sign / Mennell’s Test – Used to assess degenerative processes in the sacroiliac joint.

Springing Test – To detect functional impairment in the Thoracic & Lumbar spine & Sacroiliac Joint.

Gaenslen’s Test – To detect any pathology or dysfunction around the sacroiliac joint.

Standing Flexion Test/ Standing Forward Flexion Test – To assess sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Faber Test / Patrick’s Test – Used to assess the pathology or dysfunction at the hip joint, muscles around the hip joint, and at the sacroiliac joint.

Thoracic Spine Test 

Ott Sign – For Measuring the ROM of the Thoracic Spine

Cervical Exams

Cervical Flexion Compression Test –  To identify if there is a Herniated disk in the Cervical spine.

Jackson Compression Test –  To Detect Cervical Radiculopathy (Cervical Nerve Root Compression).

Spurling Test – For Diagnosing Cervical Radiculopathy.

Cervical Distraction Test – To detect the presence of cervical radiculopathy.

O’Donoghue Test – Helps in differentiating between muscular pain (strain) and ligamentous pain (articular problem) in the cervical spine.

Soto Hall Test – For Detecting Problem in Patient’s Neck (Cervical Spine).

Maximum Compression of the Intervertebral Foramina Test of Cervical Spine – For Detecting Facet Joint Dysfunction in the Cervical Spine.

Some other Tests

Abbott Saunders Test – Indicates subluxation of the long head of the biceps tendon.

Transverse Humeral Ligament Test – Indicates transverse humeral ligamentous insufficiency, and it also indicates biceps tendinitis.

Pelvic Ligament Tests – used for the assessment of the pelvic ligaments.

Supported Forward Bend Test (Belt Test) – helps in differentiating lumbar pain and sacroiliac pain.

Adam’s Forward Bend Test – For detecting the presence of scoliosis (either functional or structural).

Noble Compression Test/Noble Test –  To assess pain coming from iliotibial band syndrome.

Neer Test –  For detecting the presence of shoulder impingement syndrome.


Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System: Examinations-Signs-Phenomena by K. Buckup

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