Special Tests: Shoulder Impingement Syndrome (SIS)

by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

For an introduction to Special Tests including definitions of specific terminology, what special tests measure, how we chose the tests in these lessons, and best use check out:

 

Special Tests Covered in this Lesson:

Special Note on Shoulder Impingement Syndrome (SIS):

  • Impingement is a diagnosis given to those experiencing anterior shoulder pain, that is usually dull and achy, and made worse by arm elevation. This type of shoulder pain is common to so many shoulder diagnoses, that "impingement" or "SIS" becomes a very broad label in practice, and may inadvertently encompass issues other then the compression and irritation of subacromial tissues (e.g. rotator cuff tear, labrum tear, anterior instability). Because these symptoms are common to so many diagnoses, the special tests for impingement generally suffer from a lack of specificity. A diagnosis of SIS may be most accurately reached when "a test-item cluster demonstrates high likelihood of impingement, and is accompanied by negative tests results for other diagnoses". When considering practice and evaluation, this may imply that shoulder impingement special tests are not necessary, have