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Table 1 Pain provocations maneuvers used to identify nerve root pain.

From: Pain patterns and descriptions in patients with radicular pain: Does the pain necessarily follow a specific dermatome?

Test Procedure Structural Differentiation Response
Brachial Plexus Tension Test The patient lies supine and the scapula is depressed inferiorward. The shoulder is abducted to 90 degrees. The wrist and fingers are extended, the forearm is supinated, the shoulder is externally rotated and the elbow is extended Elevation of the scapula, ipsilateral lateral flexion of the head, flexion of the wrist and fingers Reproduction of pain with the procedure, reduction of pain with structural differentiation
Cervical Compression Test (Spurling's test) The patient is seated. The head is laterally flexed toward the side of symptoms and slightly extended. Downward pressure is applied to the top of the head None Reproduction of pain
active cervical rotation The patient is seated and is asked to rotate the head toward the side of symptoms None Reproduction of pain
Cervical Distraction Test The patient is seated. The head is lifted superiorward to distract the cervical spine None Relief of pain
Straight Leg Raise test The patient is supine. The ankle is dorsiflexed and the leg is raised by flexing the hip while the knee is extended Plantar flexion of the ankle; Well Leg Raise test Reproduction of pain with the procedure, reduction of pain with structural differentiation
Femoral Nerve Stretch test The patient is prone. The knee is flexed while the hip and pelvis remain in the neutral position Flexion and extension of the head Reproduction of pain with the procedure, reduction of pain with structural differentiation