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Special Test

The 6-Item Kraus Weber Tests

Kraus Weber Tests consist of 6 tests that’s used to evaluate the competence of the trunk and pelvic muscles groups. They were introduced by Hans Kraus and Sonja Weber in 1940s.

How do you perform the Kraus Weber Tests procedure?

Kraus–Weber Tests consists of 6 tests as following:

Kraus Weber Test A: The patient is supine with the legs and feet extended and the hands clasped behind the head. The patient is then asked to raise his or her extended legs 25 cm and to hold them at this height for 10 seconds. This tests the lower abdominal muscles. It counts for 10 points.

See Also: Thomas Test
Kraus Weber Tests - A
Kraus Weber Tests – Test A

Kraus Weber Test B: The patient is supine with the hands clasped behind the head. The examiner immobilizes the patient’s feet. The patient is asked to sit up. This tests the upper abdominal muscles. Sitting up 90° counts for 10 points; sitting up 45° counts for 5 points.

Kraus–Weber Tests - B
Kraus Weber Tests – Test B

Kraus Weber Test C: The patient is supine with the hands clasped behind the head but with the legs flexed. The examiner immobilizes the patient’s feet. The patient is asked to sit up. This tests all of the abdominal muscles with the effect of the psoas neutralized.

Kraus–Weber Tests - C
Kraus Weber Tests – Test C

Kraus Weber Test D: The patient is prone with a cushion beneath the abdomen and the hands clasped behind the head. The examiner immobilizes the patient’s hips and feet against the examining table. The patient is asked to raise his or her body o the examining table and to maintain that position for 10 seconds. This tests the upper back muscles. It counts for 10 points.

Kraus–Weber Tests - D
Kraus–Weber Tests – D

Kraus Weber Test E: The patient is prone with a cushion beneath the pelvis. The examiner immobilizes the patient’s trunk and hips against the examining table. The patient is asked to raise his or her legs o the examining table with the feet extended and to maintain that position for 10 seconds. This tests the lower back muscles. It counts for 10 points.

Kraus–Weber Tests - E
Kraus–Weber Tests – E

Kraus Weber Test F: The patient stands barefoot with hands at his or her sides. The patient is then asked to bend over with the knees extended and arms stretched out in front. The examiner measures the distance to the floor.

Kraus–Weber Tests - F
Kraus Weber Tests – F

What do the positive Kraus Weber Tests mean?

Normal results for the Kraus Weber tests are indicated by this index:

A 10/10 – B 10/10 – FTF = 0

Where A represents the strength of the abdominal muscles and Β the strength of the back muscles. The numerators are the values for the upper abdominal muscles and upper back muscles, respectively; the denominators are the values for the lower abdominal muscles and lower back muscles including the
psoas, respectively.

FTF is the Fingertip to Floor distance.

Matthias Postural Competence Tests

Matthias Postural Competence Tests assess the competence of the back and trunk muscles in children and adolescents.

The examination is performed with the patient standing. The child is asked to raise both arms straight in front and keep them in that position. Raising the arms shifts the body’s center of gravity forward.

The child with normal posture compensates for the shift in the center of gravity by leaning the entire body slightly backward. A child with postural weakness will exhibit increased thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis.

Matthias Postural Competence Tests -  Normal posture
Normal posture

Matthias identifies two degrees of postural weakness:

Patients with full muscular function will usually be able to achieve and maintain full erect posture with minimal backward bending in the arm -raising test.

  1. In first-degree postural weakness, the child can actively achieve full erect posture but within 30 seconds slumps into a backward bending posture with increased thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis.
  2. Second-degree postural weakness occurs when the child is unable to actively achieve full erect posture and slumps backward right at the start of the arm -raising test. The child will push the pelvis forward and greatly increase the lumbar lordosis. This is referred to as postural deterioration.

The differential diagnosis must differentiate functional postural deficits from organic spinal disorders. A thorough clinical examination with function tests will allow postural weakness to be distinguished from deformities and idiopathic disorders at an early stage.

In particular, examination must exclude scoliosis, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis, as well as various forms of spinal deformities, such as at back, round back, and swayback.

Posture Deficiency

Erect standing posture is determined not only by the position of the spine (or trunk) but is primarily the result of muscular activity. We differentiate between erect standing posture and relaxed (standing) posture.

By erect standing posture we mean a tense attitude of readiness characterized by a balance in the forces within the musculature, whereas relaxed posture is a comfortable stance of rest and recovery. This relaxed posture is usually a habitual posture, characteristic of the individual, and depends largely on the individual’s particular spinal and pelvic anatomy.

See Also: Hamstring Flexibility

Postural weakness may be defined as extreme difficulty in achieving and maintaining the erect standing posture. The patient is either unable to shift from a relaxed posture to an erect standing posture or is only able to maintain upright standing temporarily.

Chronic postural weakness can lead to deterioration of posture and eventually to a chronic deformity. Postural weakness and deterioration of posture define a continuum , and it is important to promptly identify children and adolescents who are at risk in order to prevent the development of a postural deformity.

Posture depends on the quality of the musculature and the existing anatomy. Various functional deviations from the physiologic curvatures have been described.

According to Wagenhäuser, they represent deficient variations of normal posture. These include unsteady posture, round back, swayback, at back, and lateral deformities.

Diagnostically, one must differentiate functional postural weaknesses from deficiencies due to organic spinal disorders such as Scheuermann’s disease and spondylolisthesis.

A variety of posture tests can be used to assess postural deficiencies:

  1. The Matthias postural competence tests allow assessment of the competence of the postural muscles.
  2. The Kraus Weber tests allow assessment of the competence of the trunk and pelvic muscles.

The strength and endurance of the muscles of the abdomen and back are measured. This test aids in determining the quantitative and qualitative effect of muscular action in neutralizing the effect of the body’s weight.

References

  1. Hans Kraus, Ruth P. Hirschland: Minimum Muscular Fitness Tests in School Children. March 2013. DOI:10.1080/10671188.1954.10624957. Link
  2. Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal System 3rd Edition.
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