Assessment of static progressive stretch for the treatment of shoulder stiffness: a prospective case series.
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of a patient-directed static progressive stretch orthosis for the treatment of shoulder stiffness. METHODS: Twenty-three patients who had limitations in range of motion of the shoulder and who had failed conventional physical therapy methods were studied. This cohort included 15 women and 8 men with a mean age of 53 years. Treatment comprised one to three 30- to 60-minute sessions per day with a patient-controlled orthosis utilizing static progressive stretch. The patients adjusted the degree of stretch at 5-minute intervals as tolerated. Compliance, range of motion, patient satisfaction, and complications were assessed, and a two-way repeated measure ANOVA was performed to assess the effects of age or gender. RESULTS: After a mean treatment duration of 10 weeks (range, 4 to 19 weeks), the patients gained a mean of 22° (range, -47 to 57°) of external rotation, 18° (range, -19 to 55°) of internal rotation, 46° (range, 3 to 97°) of abduction, and 23° (range, 3 to 40°) of forward flexion. In total, 22 of 23 patients (96%) experienced increases in range of motion that were maintained at 1 year following treatment. Statistically significant increases in range of motion and clinical function scores were noted; age and gender did not appear to influence the outcomes. DISCUSSION: This device compared favorably to other treatment methods for shoulder stiffness. An orthosis utilizing static progressive stretch was a useful adjunct for the treatment of shoulder stiffness refractory to conventional therapy.
Johnson, AJ; McKenzie, SA; Ulrich, SD; Seyler, TM; Issa, K; Pivec, R; A Mont, M
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