Physiotherapy News: 25 September 2014
Shoulders benefit from hands-on physiotherapy
Steroid injections and manual therapy are equally effective in relieving shoulder pain, say researchers who compared these two common treatments.
But patients who had an injection went back to their doctor more often than those who had had physiotherapy.
Daniel I. Rhon, of Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, and colleagues studied 104 adults of working age. All had been diagnosed with shoulder impingement syndrome, which covers a number of common injuries causing shoulder pain.
The volunteers were randomly selected to receive either a single steroid injection or a course of manual physiotherapy.All were also given exercises to do at home. The injection group had the option of up to two further injections during the following year, if necessary. The physiotherapy group received six half-hour sessions over a period of three weeks.
Both groups enjoyed a significant improvement in their pain and disability, both after treatment and during the following year. But by the end of the year, 60 per cent of the injection group had gone back for more treatment, compared with 37 per cent of those who had manual physiotherapy. Rhon DI et al. One-Year Outcome of Subacromial Corticosteroid Injection Compared With Manual Physical Therapy for the Management of the Unilateral Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: A Pragmatic Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2014.