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Cyriax Release Test

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Other Names

  • Cyriax Release Test


  • Evaluate for suspected Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • The objective is for the patient to maintain passive shoulder girdle elevation to recreate compression


  • The patient is seated, the examiner behind the patient
  • The patient leans back into the examiner with their arms crossed, extended to about 15°
    • Alternatively, arms can be in neutral position and extended
  • The examiner lifts the patient at the elbows and holds for an uncertain amount of time (30 seconds to 3 minutes)
  • Positive test is reproduction of TOS symptoms
    • Pain
    • Numbness
    • Parasthesia



Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

  • Brismee et al
    • Specificity: 97.4% (at 1 minute) [1]

See Also


  1. Brismee J-M, Gilbert K, et al. Rate of false positive using the Cyriax release test for thoracic outlet syndrome in an asymptomatic population. JMPT 2004;12(2):73-81.
Created by:
John Kiel on 23 July 2019 23:45:44
Last edited:
28 March 2023 13:48:56