Shoulder Abduction Test – Bakody’s Sign


Test for the presence of cervical nerve root irritation.

Test procedure:

• The patient is seated.
• The examiner stands beside the patient supporting them (if necessary).
• The examiner asks the patient to abduct their shoulder and place their hand on their head.
• The patient may report relief of radicular pain or symptoms.



Test findings:

Positive if the patient reports a decrease of radicular pain or symptoms in a dermatomal region. Test may be negative if symptoms are not relieved, however, this depends on the level of irritation.

Positive test may indicate cervical nerve root irritation.