Neural tissue provocation tests are commonly used in physio land to determine the mobility and length of your nervous system, in both the upper and lower limb. To make it easy today we’ll discuss the importance and how the upper neural tissue can be a problem.
If you are experiencing upper limb or shoulder blade pain it is suggested that these tests should be completed first, prior to any other tests. Depending on how you respond, this will determine the course of treatment to be undertaken.
These tests are designed to put stretch on the neurological structures of your upper limb. For example the shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers are manipulated into certain direction to put stress on a particular nerve. Further advancements through the upper neck region can also be added to promote sensitivity of your nerve.
So why do it? These tests are designed to help check and treat if any cervical radiculopathy (trapped or poor gliding nerve) exists and could be contributing to your symptoms. If you are positive, specific treatment modalities can be used to enhance your recovery.
What are the signs and symptoms of a positive neural tissue involvement?
– When getting a history and during the physical exam there would be suggestion that some issues are related to the cervical spine
– Altered positioning of the shoulder which will reduce the travel or lengthening of the sensitive neural tissue
– Passive and active movements that result in a painful response due to creating a lengthening of the sensitive tissue
– Positive neural tissue provocation tests
– Positive allodynia response to palpation of the nerve trunk (pathway)
So next time you are in the clinic, and the therapist is manipulating your arm into a certain directions, it isn’t always just for muscles and ligaments.