Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

When I hurt my shoulder a few months ago, the doctor made me move it around while she pressed on it. This ended up causing pain. It turns out that I had something called an impingement. Is it normal to do a test that causes pain?

Answer:

When doctors are testing for injuries of muscles, bones or joints, there is a lot that they can't see. However, they do know that if you can do certain movements, then certain problems may be ruled out. The reverse is true too. If you can't do certain motions or movements, then there are certain problems that the doctor may consider. By doing a few different tests, the doctor may be able to narrow down your particular problem, avoiding a misdiagnosis. While it's never pleasant to undergo an examination that causes pain, the intent isn't to cause pain itself, but to see what triggers the pain. It is important that you tell your doctor, during the exam, if something is hurting you. Lori A. Michener, PhD, PT, ATC, et al. Reliability and Diagnostic Accuracy of 5 Physical Examination Tests and Combination of Tests for Subacromial Impingement. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. November 2009. Vol. 90. Pp. 1898 to 1903.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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