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GALS Screening Examination

From Mediwikis

Note that this is one of the few examinations which differ from McLeod's- the following is adapted from the procedure taught by the university, as published by Arthritis Research UK.

Wash Hands

Introduction, Explanation, Consent

Screening Questions

  • Muscle/back pain or stiffness?
  • Dress yourself without difficulty?
  • Climb stairs without difficulty?

Patient Standing

General Inspection

In anatomical position:

  • Bulk & symmetry of these muscles:
    • Shoulder
    • Gluteal
    • Quadriceps
    • Calf
  • Full elbow extension
  • Spinal alignment
    • Abnormal Lordosis/ Kyphosis
  • Knee flexion & popliteal swellings.
  • Gross foot abnormalities


  • Smooth
  • Symmetrical
  • Turns quickly


  • Arms
    • Hands behind head
      • Shoulder abduction, external rotation
      • Elbow flexion
  • Hands
    • Thenar & hypothenar muscle bulk
    • Joint deformity & swelling
    • Palpate MCP joints for tenderness
  • Make a fist, then splay out fingers. Assess both movements
  • Grip two of your fingers
  • Oppose each of their own fingers


  • Examine patient from side as they touch their toes for any curvature problems.
  • Spine
    • Slide their hand down the side of their leg to the knee level.
    • Tilt head to place ear on shoulder
    • Look up at the ceiling and down at the floor
  • Jaw
    • Move side to side to examine TMJ

Patient lying down


  • Flex knee and hip passively, with hand on kneecap feeling for crepitus.
  • With knee flexed, internally and externally rotate the hip
    • Pain?
  • Patellar tap
  • Squeeze MTP joints for tenderness- observe the patients face.

Wash Hands

Document as:

Appearance Movement
G x
A x x
L x x
S x x