Shoulder pain in wheelchair users that participate in competitive adaptive sports can be a troublesome condition. Shoulder pain not only affects athletic performance but also affects functional activities such as wheelchair propulsion and weight bearing during transfers. Managing pain in these athletes thus presents a unique challenge because of the difficulty in achieving relative rest and the need to modify athletic shoulder-focused rehabilitation strategies. In all athletes, it is vital to establish an early, accurate diagnosis and optimize conservative treatment before considering surgical interventions to avoid excessive shoulder-related morbidity, loss of function, and, worse, loss of independence.
From the PM&R Division, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Redwood City, California (RD); Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts (AHS); Shirley Ryan AbilityLab/Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois (MER); and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts (CAB).
All correspondence should be addressed to: Robert Diaz, MD, PM&R Division, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, 450 Broadway St, Redwood City, CA 94063.
This work was supported by the Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute.
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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