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Elvey’s Test: A Quick Guide for Remedial Massage Therapists and Myotherapists


Remedial massage therapists and myotherapy, practitioners often encounter clients with various musculoskeletal issues. One common challenge is diagnosing and treating nerve-related conditions, such as nerve impingement or compression. Elvey’s Test is a valuable diagnostic tool used by professionals to assess nerve tension and potential nerve entrapment.

In this guide, we will delve into the intricacies of Elvey’s Test, its significance, procedure, and implications for remedial massage therapists and myotherapists.

Understanding Elvey’s Test:

Elvey’s Test, named after Australian physiotherapist and researcher Geoffrey Maitland Elvey, is a clinical assessment technique designed to evaluate the integrity and mobility of the peripheral nerves, particularly the upper limb nerves like the median, ulnar, and radial nerves. It helps therapists identify potential nerve compression or irritation along the nerve pathways.

Elvey’s Test: for Remedial Massage Therapists


The procedure for conducting Elvey’s Test involves a series of specific movements aimed at stressing the nerves and reproducing symptoms in the affected area. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Patient Positioning: The client should be comfortably seated or lying down in a relaxed position.

Initial Assessment: Begin with a thorough history-taking and physical examination to identify potential nerve-related symptoms and areas of discomfort.

Test Movements: Perform a sequence of movements that involve stretching or tensioning the nerves in question. For example:

Median Nerve: Flex the wrist and extend the elbow while rotating the head away from the affected side.

Ulnar Nerve: Extend the elbow while externally rotating the shoulder and wrist.

Radial Nerve: Extend the wrist, fingers, and elbow while internally rotating the shoulder.

Observation and Interpretation: Observe the client's response to each movement, including any reproduction of symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness. Positive findings may indicate nerve compression or irritation.

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Significance for Remedial Massage Therapists and Myotherapists:

Elvey’s Test serves as a valuable diagnostic tool for remedial massage therapists and myotherapists in several ways:

Accurate Assessment: By systematically evaluating nerve tension and mobility, therapists can pinpoint the source of a client's symptoms more accurately, guiding targeted treatment strategies.

Treatment Planning: Understanding the presence of nerve involvement informs treatment planning, enabling therapists to tailor interventions to address both muscular and neural components of the condition.

While Elvey’s Test is a valuable tool, it should be interpreted within the broader context of a comprehensive assessment that includes history-taking, physical examination, and other relevant tests. Furthermore, therapists must ensure proper training and proficiency in performing the test to minimize the risk of misinterpretation or exacerbation of symptoms.


Incorporating Elvey’s Test into the clinical toolkit can enhance the diagnostic accuracy and effectiveness of remedial massage therapy and myotherapy practices. By mastering this technique and applying it judiciously, therapists can provide targeted interventions that address both muscular and neural components of musculoskeletal conditions, ultimately improving client outcomes and satisfaction.


Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

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