Video – Empty Can Test

Videos to help you sharpen your examination skills.
Educators are welcome to play these videos in class directly from this website.
Copyright © All rights reserved. Chiropractic Online CE ™ and Educom Continuing Education™

Video Playback Issues: If videos don’t play, it could be because you’ve remained on this web page for too long or you’ve lost your Internet connection. To resolve this issue, simply “refresh” or “reload” this web page.

No Sound?  If you’re playing a video and the sound isn’t working, it may be because the sound is off. When playing a video from a desktop computer, you will see a series of vertical bars at the bottom right corner of the video. When the vertical bars are blue, it means the sound is on (see image 1 below). If the vertical bars are grey, it means the sound is off (see image 2). To turn on the sound of a video, click on each vertical grey bar until all the bars become blue. On smaller devices such as a tablet or a phone, simply increase the volume of the device to be able to hear a video.

Select Exam Videos by Region Below

Select Exam Videos by Title Below

Empty Can Test


The empty can test is used to assess supraspinatus tears, tendinopathy, and weakness. This test is also known as the Jobe’s test or the supraspinatus test. To perform this test, position the patient’s arm so that the shoulder is abducted to 90 degrees, the arm brought forward by 30 degrees, and the thumb is pointing downward.

Stabilize the shoulder and apply downward pressure on the wrist and ask the patient to resist. With the arm in this position, the supraspinatus is considered to be the primary muscle opposing the downward pressure. If the patient experiences pain without weakness, the test is considered positive and suggests supraspinatus tendinopathy.  If the patient experiences pain with weakness, this is also considered a positive result and suggests partial or complete tendon tear.

It’s important to note that the empty can position of the shoulder is more likely to be pain provoking and therefore may result in muscle weakness because of pain and not show the true weakness of a torn supraspinatus tendon. An alternative to the empty can test is the Full can test, in which the test is performed with the thumb pointing up. The full can test position is less likely to result in muscle weakness due to pain provocation and therefore be more beneficial in testing the supraspinatus tendon.

A Chiropractic Online CE™ Production. Copyright © Educom Pty Ltd.
Please read the Disclaimer and Copyright statements at the bottom of this web page.

Disclaimer:  The Chiropractic Online CE  website (including the text, graphics and videos that appear on the chiropracticonlinece.com) are designed to offer users general health information for educational purposes only. The general health information furnished on this site is not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a healthcare professional for questions related to your disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.

Copyright © Educom Pty Ltd: All material on this website (including the text, graphics, videos and downloadable files) are owned by or licensed to Educom Pty Ltd and is subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under international conventions.