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Scapular Assistance Test
The scapular assistance test is used when scapular dysfunction, also called scapular dyskinesis, is suspected to be contributing to shoulder impingement during abduction or forward flexion of the arm. In a patient that has a positive painful arc sign on abduction, suggestive of shoulder impingement, the scapular assistance test helps to confirm the diagnosis. To perform this test, place one hand on the shoulder and with the other, apply an outward pressure against the inferior angle of the scapula. Now ask the patient to abduct the shoulder while you guide the scapula into superior rotation. If the patient’s symptoms are eliminated or reduced with scapular assistance, the test is positive, indicating shoulder impingement syndrome.
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