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The lift-off test evaluates internal rotation of the shoulder with the hand placed behind the back. During this test, which muscle exhibits the highest percent of maximal contraction?
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The lift off test is an examination of the internal rotators of the shoulder, and in particular, the subscapularis muscle (innervated by the upper and lower subscapular nerves). A clinical photo is shown in Illustration A.
The referenced study by Gries et al reviewed the EMG findings of periscapular musculature during shoulder examination and found that the lift-off test achieves a higher proportion of subscapularis contraction as compared to the other answers above. No differences were seen in contraction of the upper or lower segments of the subscapularis.
In contrast, the referenced article by Decker et al found that the upper and lower parts of the subscapularis are activated and work differently depending on humeral abduction.
Greis PE, Kuhn JE, Schultheis J, Hintermeister R, Hawkins R.
Am J Sports Med. 1996 Sep-Oct;24(5):589-93. PMID: 8883677 (Link to Abstract)
Greis, AJSM 1996
Decker MJ, Tokish JM, Ellis HB, Torry MR, Hawkins RJ.
Am J Sports Med. 2003 Jan-Feb;31(1):126-34. PMID: 12531769 (Link to Abstract)
Decker, AJSM 2003
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