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Assessment techniques for shoulder dysfunction in neurological disorders

Neurological disorders can affect the shoulder joint in a number of ways. They can cause weakness, spasticity, pain, and loss of coordination. This can make it difficult to raise the arm, reach overhead, and perform other activities that require shoulder movement.

The assessment of shoulder dysfunction related to neurological disorders is an important part of the diagnostic process. It helps the physiotherapist to identify the underlying cause of the problem and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

The assessment process for neurological disorders

The assessment of shoulder dysfunction related to neurological disorders typically includes the following steps:

  1. History: The physiotherapist will ask the patient about their symptoms, including the onset, duration, and severity of their pain. They will also ask about the patient’s medical history and any other neurological disorders that they may have.
  2. Physical examination: The physiotherapist will examine the patient’s shoulder, looking for signs of weakness, spasticity, pain, and loss of coordination. They will also assess the range of motion of the shoulder and the strength of the shoulder muscles.
  3. Special tests: The physiotherapist may perform a number of special tests to assess the function of the shoulder. These tests may include:
  • The Apprehension test: Physiotherapist use this test to assess shoulder instability.
  • The Drop arm test: This test is used to assess for weakness of the rotator cuff muscles.
  • The Speed’s test: This test is used to assess for impingement syndrome.

Neurological assessment

The physiotherapist may also perform a neurological assessment to assess the patient’s overall neurological status. This assessment may include tests of muscle strength, sensation, and coordination.

The findings of the assessment

The findings of the assessment will help the physiotherapist to identify the underlying cause of the shoulder dysfunction. If the dysfunction is caused by a neurological disorder, the physiotherapist will need to consider the specific symptoms of the disorder when developing a treatment plan.

Conclusion

The assessment of shoulder dysfunction related to neurological disorders is an important part of the diagnostic process. It helps the physiotherapist to identify the underlying cause of the problem and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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