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Painful Arc Test

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Other Names

Painful Arc Test
  • Painful Arc
  • Painful Arc Test


Illustration of the painful arc test


  • The patient is seated or standing
  • The arm starts resting at their side, elbow fully extended in a neutral position
  • The patient should be instructed to abduct the arm in the scapular plane to point of maximal tolerance
  • Positive Test:
    • Pain, typically between 60 - 120° arc
    • Pain will often improve when the arc exceeds 120°



  • Calis et al[1]
    • Sensitivity: 33%
    • Specificity: 81%
    • LR+: 1.70
    • LR-: 0.84

See Also


  1. Calis, M., Akgun, K., Birtane, M., et al. (2000). Diagnostic values of clinical diagnostic tests in subacromial impingement syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis, 59, 44-47.
Created by:
John Kiel on 7 August 2019 15:57:22
Last edited:
12 October 2023 15:14:28