Effectiveness of Exercise Programs for Management of Shoulder Pain in Manual Wheelchair Users With Spinal Cord Injury.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Shoulder pain is prevalent in manual wheelchair users (MWUs) with spinal cord injury (SCI). Therapeutic exercise has been demonstrated to be an effective, conservative approach to treating shoulder pain in able-bodied individuals. We sought to evaluate literature on the effectiveness of exercise programs on the reduction of shoulder pain in MWUs with SCI. METHODS: We searched the literature, using search terms related to SCI, manual wheelchairs, and shoulder pain. Eligibility criteria included prospective study design, exercise intervention for MWUs with shoulder pain, and use of the Wheelchair User's Shoulder Pain Index as an outcome measure. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and assessed study quality. RESULTS: Three randomized control trials and 4 cohort studies met inclusion criteria. Two studies were rated as good quality and 5 as fair quality. Three interventions were evaluated in the included studies: arm ergometry, resistive strengthening with or without electromyographic biofeedback, and stretching that targeted the muscles of the shoulder girdle. Across the 7 studies, the exercise intervention was associated with reduction in shoulder pain that exceeded the estimated minimal detectable change of 5.10 points for the Wheelchair Users' Shoulder Pain Index. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Exercise is a feasible, conservative, therapeutic intervention for the treatment of shoulder pain among MWUs. Additional studies are needed to differentiate techniques for the reduction of shoulder pain, to determine the most effective duration of intervention, and to estimate the magnitude of effect associated with therapeutic exercise for shoulder pain among MWUs.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A116).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cratsenberg, KA; Deitrick, CE; Harrington, TK; Kopecky, NR; Matthews, BD; Ott, LM; Coeytaux, RR

Published Date

  • October 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 197 - 203

PubMed ID

  • 26308939

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-0584

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000103


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States