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Testing for Shoulder Impingement (Neer test)

According to research studies, 65% of all shoulder pain complaints are related to shoulder impingement, a condition characterized by the repeated pinching of a nerve, tendon, or bursa in the shoulder.

Shoulder impingement is a chronic condition that may begin with a simple clicking of the shoulder that slowly progresses to painful clicking, then slight loss of mobility or instability and finally loss of function. It can prevent you from performing the simplest activities of daily living such as reaching for overhead objects, dressing yourself, or combing your hair.

The Neer test helps identify if your shoulder pain may be due to shoulder impingement. With the help of a friend or a family member you can do this test yourself:

  • Sit on a chair and have your friend place one hand on your shoulder blade to stabilize it.
  • With the other hand, your friend should internally rotate your arm and lift it forward and upward as high as possible.
  • If you experience pain in the front part of the shoulder with this movement, the Neer test is considered positive for subacromial or external impingement. In this condition, the rotator cuff tendon is impinged upon in the space just below the tip of the shoulder blade.
  • If you experience posterior shoulder pain with this movement, the Neer test is considered positive for internal impingement.This condition involves impingement of structures within the main shoulder joint.

Shoulder impingement is a common problem among manual laborers or athletes performing overhead movements such as swimmers or pitchers.

If you suspect your shoulder pain may be due to impingement, visit the orthopedic specialists at the NewportCare Medical Group for an in-depth assessment and personalized treatment recommendation.

NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group located in Newport Beach, California specializing in advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments for a wide range of orthopedic conditions.

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