During the physical exam, your doctor may ask you to perform certain actions, to check for pain and evaluate your range of motion. These may include:
- Hands up. Raise both your hands straight up in the air, like a football referee calling a touchdown.
- Opposite shoulder. Reach across your chest to touch your opposite shoulder.
- Back scratch. Starting with the back of your hand against the small of your back, reach upward to touch your opposite shoulder blade.
Your doctor may also ask you to relax your muscles while he or she moves your arm for you. This test can help distinguish between frozen shoulder and a rotator cuff injury.
Frozen shoulder can usually be diagnosed from signs and symptoms alone. But your doctor may suggest imaging tests — such as X-rays or an MRI — to rule out other structural problems.
Apr. 28, 2011
- Miller RH, et al. Adhesive capsulitis. In: Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Frozen shoulder. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00071. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Anderson BC. Frozen shoulder. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Krabik BJ, et al. Adhesive capsulitis. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
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