Clinical Tests of the Shoulder: Accuracy and Extension Using Dynamic Ultrasound

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Feb;99(2):161-169. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001311.


Shoulder pain is a common musculoskeletal disorder that has a significant impact on the patient's quality of life and functional health. Because the shoulder joint is a complex structure, the relevant symptoms of shoulder pain may not directly reflect the underlying pathology. Hence, several shoulder tests have been developed to examine shoulder problems, and their diagnostic accuracy varies. Familiarization with the performance of those physical tests and their strength and limitation are of utmost importance for physicians dealing with shoulder disorders. Therefore, the present narrative review focuses on summarizing the most commonly used tests in physical examination and their diagnostic performance on several shoulder pathologies. This article also discusses how ultrasound imaging can serve as an extension of those tests.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*