Neer Test

Orthopedic Exam / Special Tests for Physical Therapy: SHOULDER

Special Test: Neer Impingement Test

The supraspinatus runs from the supraspinatous fossa superior of the scapula  to the greater tubercle of the humerus. It is one of the four rotator cuff muscles and also abducts the arm at the shoulder. The supraspinatus muscle tendon passes laterally beneath the cover of the acromion. This tendon inserts into the superior facet of the greater tubercle of the humerus.

Dr. Neer reported that the critical area for degenerative tendonitis and tendon ruptures was focused on the supraspinatus tendon and at times involved the anterior infraspinatus and occasionally the long head of biceps. Elevation of the arm in external or internal rotation causes critical areas to pass under the coraco-acromialligament or anterior acromion.

Neer Test: Neer Impingement Test


  • To test for: Overuse injury to the supraspinatus tendon.

Video Demo Instructions, Procedure, Positive Test:

Neer Test: Neer Impingement Test: Video Demo (Procedure below)


• Patient is seated
• Passively flex their affected humerus through its range

Special Test: Neer Impingement Test: POSITIVE SIGN:

  • Pain in the acromion / tendon area. 

Sensitivity = 88.7%
Specificity = 30.5%
Reliability = 98%