Exercise better than shockwave treatment for chronic shoulder pain

Sep 16, 2009

Supervised exercises are more effective than shockwave treatment to relieve chronic shoulder pain, finds a study published in British Medical Journal today.

Shoulder pain is the fourth most common type of musculoskeletal pain reported to general practitioners and physiotherapists. Treatments often include physiotherapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid injections. Physiotherapy can include shockwave treatment, ultrasound, exercises and acupuncture.

Several studies have suggested that shockwave treatment may not be effective, but it continues to be used widely.

So a team of researchers based in Oslo, Norway compared the effectiveness of radial extracorporeal shockwave treatment (low to medium energy impulses delivered into the tissue) with supervised exercises in patients with shoulder pain.

The study involved 104 men and women aged between 18 and 70 years attending the outpatient clinic at Ullevaal University Hospital in Oslo with shoulder pain lasting at least three months.

Participants were randomised to receive either radial extracorporeal shockwave treatment (one session weekly for four to six weeks) or supervised exercises (two 45 minute sessions weekly for up to 12 weeks).

Both groups were similar at the start of the study with regard to age, education, dominant arm affected and pain duration.

All patients were monitored at six, 12 and 18 weeks and were advised not to have any additional treatment except analgesics (including anti-inflammatory drugs) during the follow-up period. Pain and disability were measured using a recognised scoring index.

After 18 weeks, 32 (64%) of patients in the exercise group achieved a reduction in shoulder pain and disability scores compared with 18 (36%) in the shockwave treatment group.

More patients in the exercise group returned to work, while more patients in the shockwave treatment group had additional treatment after 12 weeks, suggesting that they were less satisfied.

These results are in agreement with results from previous trials recommending therapy and do not strengthen the evidence for extracorporeal shockwave treatment, say the authors.

They conclude: "Supervised exercises were more effective than radial extracorporeal shockwave treatment for short term improvement in patients with subacromial shoulder pain."

Source: (news : web)

Explore further: Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Strength training of neck muscles relieves chronic pain

Jan 04, 2008

Neck pain has been steadily increasing over the past two decades and is now second to back pain, the most common musculoskeletal disorder. Women are more likely than men to suffer from persistent neck pain, in particular ...

Exercise improves leg pain caused by arterial disease

Feb 02, 2009

Patients with leg pain caused by arterial disease may be able to forego treatment of the affected artery by participating in hospital-supervised exercise, according to a new study published in the February issue of Radiology.

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

30 minutes ago

Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to ...

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Buttafly
not rated yet Sep 16, 2009
exercise is better than shockwave therapy always! Shockwave therapy is a terrible invention!!!