Shoulder Press Test

 Shoulder Press Test

What is Shoulder Press Test?

  • Shoulder Press Test is used to check for cervical spine nerve root radiculopathy.

How it's Performed?

  • The patient is seated.
  • The examiner presses downward on one shoulder while bending the cervical spine laterally toward the contralateral side.
  • This test is always performed on both sides.

What does a positive Shoulder Press Test mean?

  • Provocation of radicular symptoms is a sign of adhesion of the dural sac and/or a nerve root.

Increase in pain during the shoulder press test suggests:

  1. Nerve root compression
  2. Foraminal narrowing by osteophytes
  3. Dural sheath changes,
  4. Contracture of the facet joint capsule on the side being tested.
  5. Circumscribed pain on the side of the stretched musculature indicates increased muscle tone in the sternocleidomastoid or trapezius muscle.

Decreased muscular pain in the side that is not stretched suggests:

  • a pulled muscle or a functional impairment involving shortening of the musculature.


  • Clinical Tests for the Musculoskeletal 3rd Ed. Book

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