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Simple Test To See If You “Actually” Need PT For That Shoulder Pain

Dr. Arnan Sisson PT / May 12, 2022


Theirs so many folks from all over the Northern Neck that are struggling with shoulder pain. So many in fact that I’d say every month I’ll come across one or two during my weekly shopping trip to Food Lion.

They’ll ask me, Dr. Sisson I’ve seen all your stuff in the Newspaper. What’s some fancy treatment you can do to fix this thing for me?!

My number one response is usually this, “you might not even need to see me…”

While this is an unexpected response to many, it’ll make sense as we dig into this a little deeper.

In this write up I’m going to go over a extremely simple and quick test that anyone can do to see if they actually need special treatment to correct their shoulder issue.

This test is in two stages, and during the test folks will have the following questions answered...

  • Will my shoulder pain go away on its on?
  • Exactly bad is my shoulder problem?
  • What are the best next steps to lose the Tylenol, get back my sleep, and reach above my head again?


Its safe to say that this test can either give folks a lot of piece of mind that their issue will fix itself Or it’ll get them on the road to actually fixing the shoulder for good, sooner than later.


So, lets walk through the two steps of this test:

Shoulder Test (Part 1)

The first part is a question. Simply ask yourself, “have I had this pain longer than a few days?”

If the answer is no, then that means you could just have some simple inflammation in the shoulder. In those cases, you shouldn’t seek treatment right away. Simply ice the shoulder and do some general movement over the next few days to calm it down.

Shoulder Test (Part 2)

The second part of this test is lifting your arm up to 90 degrees (same side that’s painful). Next use your other arm to push down at the wrist with moderate pressure. This should be done yourself and with another person to see how sensitive that shoulder is.

If you produce pain with this test and you’ve had your pain longer than a few days, that means theirs likely something more going on than general inflammation in the shoulder. In that case you can save yourself a lot of restless nights by seeking treatment to take care of the issue for good. Otherwise, it’s likely to hang around for some time.

Feel free to do this test if you’re dealing with shoulder troubles or hand it out to a friend that could benefit. Remember, movement is medicine!


P.S. If you'd like to have more detailed help for that shoulder then feel free to book a free 20 minute phone consult with our shoulder specialists,  (804) 493-3256 (accepting messages 24/7). Or go to https://www.montrossphysicaltherapy.com/Free-Phone... to set up your free shoulder pain consult today