Doorbell sign is a useful test to determine if cervical spine pain is due to local tissue injury or due to an irritation in the nerve root.
- Patient seated
Examiner uses his/her fingertips to compress neurologic and muscular structures in the lateral aspect of the neck observing for signs of pain or discomfort.
Positive Doorbell Sign
- Positive Local pain: Local tissue damage, sprain, strain.
- Positive Arm pain: Nerve root irritation or inflammation.
The name “doorbell” sign is given due to the fact that when the injured is pressed there is an almost immediate result of pain (pressing a doorbell results in an almost immediate “ding-dong”).