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What are Functional Performance Tests?

Functional performance tests are generally used as a means of measuring strength, power and endurance. These tests help identify any impairments or limitations in the joint.

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can watch Ellie Richardson's lecture here:

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When are Shoulder Functional Performance Tests used?

Following shoulder injury or surgery, many athletes will go through rehabilitation programs to help them return to their sport. One contributing factor to the high re-injury rates could be the lack of agreement regarding which tests, outcome measures, or metrics should be used for making clinical decisions regarding readiness to return to sport (RTS). Consequently, many athletes could be returning to their sporting activities without adequate rehabilitation to optimize shoulder function. Therefore, following sufficient time for tissue healing constraints and patient education, it is important to establish specific tests and criteria that can be used for facilitating RTS decisions. At a minimum, the testing battery should consist of the following components: patient reported outcomes (PROs), impairment measurements (e.g., range of motion, proprioceptive measurements, etc.), measures of muscle strength, power and endurance, general upper extremity functional performance tests (UEFPT), neuro-cognitive-mechanical reactive tests, and sport specific tests.

Naturally, the upper extremity functional performance tests (UEFPT) selected to assist with RTS decisions should relate to the patient’s type of sport.1

What are some of the Shoulder Functional Performance Tests?

Watch these clips to know more about some of the shoulder functional performance tests (we recommend rotating your mobile):

1. Closed kinetic chain upper extremity test

2. Upper quadrant Y balance test

3. Seated Medicine ball throw


4. Ball abduction external rotation test


5. Posterior shoulder endurance test


If you want to learn more about this topic, you can watch Ellie Richardson's lecture here:

Click here

1. Bryan L Riemann, George J Davies; Reliability of Upper Extremity Functional Performance Tests for the Non-overhead Athlete; IJSPT Vol. 18, Issue 5, 2023 October 01, 2023
2. Lecture ‘Shoulder Functional Performance Tests’ by Ellie Richardson


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