Physiotherapy & Wellness Blog
In this article, we will explain why the wall test is best considered a coordination test rather than a mobility test. This is because poor ankle mobility is a contributing factor to problems all the way up the kinetic chain, including those affecting the knee, hip and back.
The wall test is a commonly used assessment tool to assess a patient's ability to use visual and motor skills together quickly and accurately. It is a simple test, consisting of throwing a tennis ball against the wall from one hand and catching it with the other. It is then rated on how many successful catches are made in a set time period or number of attempts.
To perform the test, your client should stand with their back against a smooth wall and feet hip-width apart. They should then slide their hand between their back and the wall. If they can do this comfortably, it indicates good mobility. If they cannot, it may indicate tightness or weakness in the lumbar spine.
To score the test, your client should try to achieve a minimum of 20 successful catches in 30 seconds. The more successful catches, the higher their score will be. Changing the number of attempts or time periods can increase fatigue and affect consistency, while adding a scorekeeper or other distractions can add pressure and require more focus. Changing the type of ball can also influence its difficulty and specificity; a smaller or heavier ball may be harder to catch, while a shaped ball may require more anticipation and adjustment.