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Special Test

Coordination Tests

Coordination is a complex process that involves the integration of sensory input, neural processing, and motor output, allowing for the efficient, precise, and purposeful execution of movements. Examiners use Coordination Tests to assess these processes.

Coordination is the harmonious functioning of muscles or groups of muscles in the execution of movements. This involves the integration of sensory input (such as sight, touch, and proprioception), neural processing in the brain and spinal cord, and motor output to the muscles. Essentially, coordination is the body’s ability to move in a controlled and purposeful way.

See Also: Balance Tests

Coordination Tests

Coordination Tests includes many tests such as: Finger Drumming Test, Finger-Thumb Test, Finger-to-Nose Test, Hand “Flip” Test, Hand-Thigh Test, Heel-to-Knee Test and Past Pointing Test.

Finger Drumming Test

The patient drums the index and middle finger of one hand up and down as quickly as possible on the back of the other hand. The test is repeated with the opposite hand. The examiner compares the two sides for coordination and speed. Both sides should be equal. A positive test would be slower movement on the affected side.

Finger Thumb Test

The patient touches each finger with the thumb of the same hand. The normal or uninjured side is tested first, followed by the injured side. The examiner compares the two sides for coordination and timing. Both sides should be equal. A positive test would be slower movement on the affected side.

Finger to Nose Test

The patient stands or sits with the eyes open and brings the index finger to the nose. The test is repeated with the eyes closed. Both arms are tested several times with increasing speed. Normally, the tests should be accomplished easily, smoothly, and quickly with the eyes open and closed.

Finger to Nose Test

Flip Test

The patient touches the back of the opposite, stationary hand with the anterior aspect of the fingers, flips the test hand over, and touches the opposite hand with the posterior aspect of the fingers. The movement is repeated several times with both sides being tested. The examiner compares the two sides for coordination and speed.

Hand Thigh Test

The patient pats his or her thigh with the hand as quickly as possible. The uninjured side is tested first. The patient may be asked to supinate and pronate the hand between each hand-thigh contact to make the test more complex. The examiner watches for speed and coordination and compares the two sides.

Heel to Knee Test

The patient, who is lying supine with the eyes open, takes the heel of one foot and touches the opposite knee with the heel and then slides the heel down the shin. The test is repeated with the eyes closed, and both legs are tested. The test can be repeated several times with increasing speed. The examiner notes any differences in coordination or the presence of tremor. Normally, the test should be accomplished easily, smoothly, and quickly with the eyes open or closed.

Heel to Knee Test

Past Pointing Test

The patient and examiner face each other. The examiner holds up both index fingers approximately 15 cm (6 inches) apart. The patient is asked to lift his or her arms over the head and then bring the arms down to touch the patient’s index fingers to the examiner’s index fingers. The test is repeated with the patient’s eyes closed. Normally, the test can be performed without difficulty. Patients with vestibular disease have problems with past pointing. The test may also be used to test proprioception.

Coordination Tests - Past pointing test

References & More

  1. Orthopedic Physical Assessment by David J. Magee, 7th Edition.
  2. Podell K, Presley C, Derman H. Sideline Sports Concussion Assessment. Neurol Clin. 2017 Aug;35(3):435-450. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2017.03.003. PMID: 28673408. Pubmed
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