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Comparison of three types of exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy/shoulder impingement syndrome: A randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Objectives

To assess the efficacy of three different exercise programmes in treating rotator cuff tendinopathy/shoulder impingement syndrome.

Design

Parallel group randomised clinical trial.

Setting

Two out-patient NHS physiotherapy departments in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Participants

120 patients with shoulder pain of at least three months duration. Pain was reproduced on stressing the rotator cuff and participants had full passive range of movement at the shoulder.

Interventions

Three dynamic rotator cuff loading programmes; open chain resisted band exercises (OC) closed chain exercises (CC) and minimally loaded range of movement exercises (ROM).

Main outcomes

Change in Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) score and the proportion of patients making a Minimally Clinically Important Change (MCIC) in symptoms 6 weeks after commencing treatment.

Results

All three programmes resulted in significant decreases in SPADI score, however there were no significant differences between the groups. Participants making a MCIC in symptoms were similar across all groups, however more participants deteriorated in the ROM group. Dropout rate was higher in the CC group, but when only patients completing treatment were considered more patients in the CC group made a meaningful reduction in pain and disability.

Conclusions

Open chain, closed chain and range of movement exercises all seem to be effective in bringing about short term changes in pain and disability in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy.

ISRCTN76701121

Cite this article

Comparison of three types of exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy/shoulder impingement syndrome: A randomized controlled trial.

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