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Table 2 Individual features of the GALS exam which were examined (6)

From: Validation of the GALS musculoskeletal screening exam for use in primary care: a pilot study

• Symmetry & smoothness of movement
• Stride length & mechanics
• Ability to turn normally & quickly
ARMS (Hands)
• Wrist/finger swelling/deformity
• Squeeze across 2nd to 5th metacarpals for tenderness (indicates synovitis)
• Turn hands over, inspect muscle wasting & forearm pronation/supination
ARMS (Grip Strength)
• Power grip (tight fist)
• Precision grip (oppose each finger to thumb)
ARMS (Elbows)
• Full extension
ARMS (Shoulders)
• Abduction & external rotation of shoulders
LEGS (Feet)
• Squeeze across metatarsals for tenderness (indicates synovitis)
• Calluses
LEGS (Knees)
• Knee swelling/deformity, effusion
• Quadriceps muscle bulk
• Crepitus during passive knee flexion
LEGS (Hips)
• Check internal rotation of hips
SPINE (Inspection from behind)
• Shoulders & iliac crest height symmetry
• Scoliosis
• Paraspinal, shoulder, buttocks, thighs & calves muscles normal
• Popliteal or hind foot swelling or deformity
SPINE (Inspection from front)
• Quadriceps normal in bulk & symmetry
• Swelling or at Varus or valgus deformity at knee
• Forefoot of midfoot deformity, action normal
• Ear against shoulder on either side to check lateral cervical spine flexion
• Hands behind head with elbows back (check rotator cuff muscles, acromioclavicular, sternoclavicular & elbow joints)
SPINE (Inspection from side)
• Normal thoracic & lumbar lordosis
• Normal cervical kyphosis
• Normal flexion (lumbosacral rhythm from lumbar lordosis to kyphosis) while touching toes
SPINE (Trigger point tenderness)
• Supraspinatus muscle tenderness (exaggerated response)