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Efficacy of Proprioceptive Exercises in Patients with Subacromial Impingement Syndrome

A Single-Blinded Randomized Controlled Study

Dilek, Banu, MD; Gulbahar, Selmin, MD; Gundogdu, Mehtap, MD; Ergin, Burcu, MD; Manisali, Metin, MD; Ozkan, Mustafa, MD; Akalin, Elif, MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: March 2016 - Volume 95 - Issue 3 - p 169–182
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000327
Original Research Article
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Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of proprioceptive exercises on shoulder proprioception, range of motion, pain, muscle strength, and function in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome.

Design Sixty-one patients with subacromial impingement syndrome participated in this prospective, single-blind randomized controlled trial. All patients were randomly divided into two groups: control group (conventional physiotherapy, n = 30) and intervention group (proprioceptive exercise and conventional physiotherapy, n = 31). The primary outcome measures were sense of kinesthesia and active and passive repositioning for proprioception at 0 degrees and 10 degrees external rotation at 12 wks. The secondary outcome measures were pain at rest, at night, and during activities of daily living with the visual analog scale (0–10 cm), the Western Ontario Rotator Cuff index, the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons index, range of motion, and isometric muscle strength at both 6 and 12 wks.

Results After treatment, significant improvement was found in range of motion, pain, isometric muscle strength, kinesthesia at 0 degrees external rotation, and functional tests in both groups. The intervention group showed a significant improvement in kinesthesia at 10 degrees external rotation and active and passive repositioning at 10 degrees external rotation. When groups were compared, there were no statistically significant differences in any of the parameters at 12 wks.

Conclusions Although proprioceptive exercises may provide better proprioceptive acuity, no additional positive effect on other clinical parameters was observed.

From the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (BD, SG, MG, BE, EA), Radiodiagnostics (MM), and Orthopedics (MO), Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Banu Dilek, MD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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