Arm Squeeze Test: a new clinical test to distinguish neck from shoulder pain

Arm Squeeze Test: a new clinical test to distinguish neck from shoulder pain

Objective of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic values of the Arm Squeeze Test. The test consists in squeezing the middle third of the upper arm.

Hypothesis of this study is that squeezing the middle third of the upper arm (brachial biceps and triceps area), on the side complained by the patient with shoulder pain, with a strength necessary to have a moderate compression of skin, subcutis and muscle can elicit an intense reaction of local pain only in patients with cervical nerve root compression from C5 to T1, not when the pain arises from the shoulder.

In a study the Arm Squeeze test showed very high sensitivity (97%), specificity (>91%) and inter/ intraobserver reliability.  The test was positive in 97% of patients with confirmed cervical nerve root compression and only 2-4% of those with rotator cuff tear, adhesive capsulitis, A/C osteoarthritis and control subjects.

Conclusions

The Arm Squeeze Test may be useful to distinguish cervical nerve root compression from shoulder disease in case of doubtful diagnosis. A positive result to this test may lead to cervical etiology of the shoulder pain.

Keywords: Neck pain, Shoulder pain, Cervical spine, Clinical test, Differential diagnosis
Sorgente: Arm Squeeze Test: a new clinical test to distinguish neck from shoulder pain

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