Sternum Compression Test

What is Sternum Compression Test?

The sternum compression test signals or indicates rib fracture or rib dislocation or strain in the intercoastal muscles or imapaired vertebral or coastal mobility.


Procedure of Performing Sternum Compression Test

Step 1 – The patient lies in the supine lying position

Step 2 – The examiner exerts light pressure on the sternum with his/her both hands.

When the examiner exerts light pressure on the sternum, the examiner will ask the patient if they feel any pain.


YouTube video

Test Results

If the patient feels pain, when the examiner exerts light pressure on the sternum this indicates a positive sternum compression test.

The reasons of the pain could be due to a

  • Rib fracture – Localized pain in the rib cage can be due to the rib fracture.
  • Rib subluxation (discolation).
  • Strain in the intercoastal muscles.
  • Imapaired vertebral or coastal mobility – Pain in the vicinity of the sternum or vertebra indicates impaired vertebral or coastal mobility.

You May Also Read 

Rib Test 

Rib Compression Test – Indicates impaired costosternal or costovertebral joint or a rib fracture.

Sacroiliac Joint Tests

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.

Cervical Tests 

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

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

Leave a Comment