Monday, September 7, 2009
Explaining the Thomas Test
The Thomas Test is an orthopedic test that can show some pretty good clues in assessing your self or an athlete/patient. I like it because in a matter of seconds you can find out relatively a lot of information.
To perform the Thomas Test. Find a relatively tall table, such as massage table. Start out with your lower back against the edge of the table. Lean back and grab one knee. So now your on your back, holding your knee to the chest, with the other leg dangling free. Now this is what were looking for.
Is your free leg off the table? It should be at a minimum of 180 degrees or parallel to the table. A little below parallel would be even better. If it's raised off the table, greater then parallel. You have a tight psoas muscle on your hands.
Next, check your knee to hip angle. It should be around ninety degrees. If it's greater then ninety, you have a tight rectus femoris.
Finally, check your hip alignment. Is the free leg off to the side, not directly in line with your pelvis? If it's abducted slightly, you have a tight Tensor fascis lata (TFL).
In the above picture, the psoas looks to be in good shape, but the rectus femoris looks tight and there is not way to tell from this angle if the TFL is healthy.
So in a matter of 30 seconds, you've assessed 3 muscles important for runners and cyclists. Remember if your not assessing your guessing.