Noninvasive Discrimination of Brachial Plexus Involvement In Upper Limb Pain

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Abstract

The ability of Elvey'5 “brachial plexus tension test” to identify pain referred from the cervical region was investigated in 50 patients with unilateral shoulder and upper arm pain: 25 reported symptoms commencing after open heart surgery, indicating a high probability of referred pain due to that procedure; 25 were athletes with injuries from throwing movements, a cause appearing much less likely to cause referred pain. Twenty-five asymptomatic subjects with no history of spinal or limb pain also were tested. Cervical and upper limb maneuvers of the lest were assessed goniometrically. The cardiac group showed significantly greater test results than those of the other groups, suggesting that the test is able to discriminate referred and local sources of upper limb pain.

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