Stress relaxation and static progressive stretch are techniques used for non-surgical restoration of shoulder range of motion for patients with adhesive capsulitis.
To compare a static progressive stretch device plus traditional therapy with traditional therapy alone for the treatment of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.
Prospective, randomised controlled trial.
Sixty patients with adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder were assigned at random to an experimental group or a control group.
Both groups received three traditional therapy sessions per week for 4 weeks. In addition, the experimental group used a static progressive stretch device for 4 weeks.
Main outcome measures
The primary outcome measure was shoulder range of motion (active and passive shoulder abduction, and passive shoulder external rotation). The secondary outcome measures were function [measured by the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire] and pain [measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS)].
At baseline, there were no differences between the two groups. However, after the intervention, there were significant (P < 0.05) differences between the groups for all outcome parameters: 0.3 for mean VAS scores [95% confidence interval (CI) −0.6 to 1.1], −10.1 for DASH scores (95% CI −21.0 to 0.9), 21.2° for shoulder passive external rotation (95% CI 16.8 to 25.7), 26.4° for shoulder passive abduction (95% CI 17.4 to 35.3), and 27.7° for shoulder active abduction (95% CI 20.3 to 35.0). At 12-month follow-up, the differences between the groups were maintained and even increased for mean shoulder range of motion, VAS scores and DASH scores, with significant differences (P < 0.001) between the groups: −2.0 for VAS scores (95% CI −2.9 to −1.2), −53.8 for DASH scores (95% CI −64.7 to −42.9), 47.9° for shoulder passive external rotation (95% CI 43.5 to 52.3), 44.9° for shoulder passive abduction (95% CI 36.0 to 53.8), and 94.3° for shoulder active abduction (95% CI 87.0 to 101.7).
Use of a static progressive stretch device in combination with traditional therapy appears to have beneficial long-term effects on shoulder range of motion, pain and functional outcomes in patients with adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder. At 12-month follow-up, the experimental group had continued to improve, while the control group had relapsed.
Efficacy of a static progressive stretch device as an adjunct to physical therapy in treating adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder: a prospective, randomised study; Ibrahim, M. et al. Physiotherapy, Volume 100, Issue 3, 228 - 234;