|Accessory Nerve Clinical Notes and Interpretation
- Care should be taken not to provoke or cause cervical spine symptoms (i.e., joints and contractile, non-contractile, vascular, and neurological tissues must be cleared prior to performing resisted testing).
- Pathology of the accessory nerve is uncommon.
- If present, deficits are usually caused by a lower motor neuron lesion.
- A lower motor neuron lesion will result in deficits of downward and lateral rotation of the scapula and difficulty in turning the head to the opposite side of the lesion; look for atrophy and/or fasciculation in the ipsilateral trapezius.