Testing the client’s shoulder is a vital part of forming an effective treatment for any sports massage therapist. Within the Level 4 sports massage qualification you will learn and understand a number of tests such as the Neers Test.
The test itself is a simple one that will assess if your clients shoulder pain and limited range of motion could be caused by an impingement.
Performing the Test: Sit on a stable chair ensuring your client’s back is straight, positioning their arms either side. Keeping their arm straight, lift it out to the side and up overhead as high as possible. When your client has their arm fully raised overhead, push their other arm up even further by putting one of their hands on your arm and the other on your shoulder blade (to support it). When the clients arm is raised overhead and pushed to the limit, the space inside the shoulder where their rotator cuff tendons and shoulder bursa reside (called the sub-acromial space) becomes smaller.
Positive Test: If they report a feeling of pain in the shoulder, the Neer's test is considered a positive one; meaning that the pain is likely caused by impingement of the tendons or bursa within the shoulder. As with most things, it's a good idea to test your non-painful shoulder to get an idea of what a "normal" Neer's test feels like. Then you can compare and contrast.
To aid we have this helpful video that was performed by our level 4 sports massage tutor.