Shoulder Abduction Test

The Shoulder Abduction Test is performed if the patient suffers from radicular symptoms originating especially from C4-C5 nerve roots.

Execution: The patients is placed in seated or supine lying position. The arm is abducted until the hand or forearm rests on top of the head. This can either be perform actively by the patient, or passively by the examiner.

Outcome: Reduction or alleviation of symptoms that indicate a cervical extradural compression problem such as herniated disc, epidural vein compression, or nerve compression in the C4-C5 or C5-C6 area (Magee 2007).

Sensitivity ranges from 17%-64%
Specificity ranges from 85%-100%
(Ghasemi et al 2013, Viikari-Juntura et al. 1989, Wainner et al. 2003)

See THESIS, section “Shoulder Abduction Tests” for further discussion.