Neer Test for Subacromial Impingement

 In Shoulder

Neer Test: 

Subacromial Impingement is one of the most common disorders in the shoulder – It can be closely related to bursitis as well as rotator cuff tendinitis. And it’s not unheard of for these conditions to develop individually or in combination.

The shoulder joint is a very compact joint. It’s surrounded by muscles, ligaments, tendons, arteries, nerves and bursae. There isn’t a lot of free space in that joint to begin with, so if you then throw in poor biomechanics, then the muscles and other soft tissues can easily get pinched and impinged – creating pain and discomfort.

As Pilates Teachers, we’re continually asking our clients to move their arms especially over head, as well as out to the side. And if you’ve been following our Shoulder Series, you’ll see how easy it is to determine suboptimal movement as well as potential impingement due to poor biomechanics.

If you’re new to this series, you’d really benefit from watching our series from the start. We cover bony landmarks as well as range of motion and we’re currently exploring Subacromial Impingement. Visit our YouTube channel and subscribe – Don’t forget to also click the bell to switch on notifications. This will let you know as soon as we upload fresh, new content – So you’ll always be kept up to date!

So far we have covered the Painful Arc, The Empty Can (Jobe Test) and the Full Can Test – All of these test for Subacromial Impingement so you might be wondering why we’re giving you yet another screen for this condition…and the reason behind that is based on their sensitivity and specificity. Some of the screens are better for ruling issues out and others are good for ruling them in so by assembling a cumulative group, it’ll help to provide you with a better picture of what’s going on in the shoulder.

Here is the full video for the Neer Test – For those of you who like to read, we’ve also outlined the key points covered so you can follow along too! You can also visit our YouTube channel and subscribe to view all of the latest content!


This screen requires the client to be sat down with the practitioner behind. This is a passive screen which if you don’t know what that means – we’d encourage you to view our Range of Motion video as this will explain it nice and simply for you!  The practitioner will be taking the client’s arm into forward flexion and internal rotation whilst applying a downward pressure onto the scapula. Then the practitioner will flex the client’s shoulder.

If the client experiences pain in the anterior portion of their shoulder – this would be an indication of a potential Subacromial Impingement. They might experience pain in the posterior portion of the shoulder however, this would be indicative of an internal impingement.

We cover this in much greater detail as well as a host of other conditions on our Shoulders modular course – We also look at how this integrates into Pilates and we discuss the ways in which you can help your clients to move more optimally as well as help to reduce pain and discomfort that they might be experiencing.

So if you’re a Pilates Teacher looking to further your knowledge and help to provide your client’s with a more optimal way of moving in class then why not get in touch?

We’re running courses in London, Gatwick, Dorset and Nottingham over the next 12 months so there’s always opportunities to learn as well as meet like-minded Pilates Teachers aspiring to become Pilates Therapists!

Visit the Contact Us page or drop us an email at for more information – we’d love to hear from you!


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