Excellent evidence for Physiotherapy in Rotator cuff pain

Rotator cuff pain at the shoulder is an umbrella term. Imaging and our ‘special’ tests are now universally accepted as pretty rubbish at identifying the cause of shoulder pain. The crux is: some people have clearly degenerative problems with torn tendons and muscles in the shoulder – not all of those people will have pain or problems with it.


Rachel Chester’s recent work found that psychological factors were better predictors of outcome. Like how well educated you were. How well you felt you were in control of the problem. If you had other diseases. Not the scan. Or how bad the pain was. Interesting eh?!
So physiotherapists can really help to ‘case manage’ and enthuse and progress patients into a better condition. The longterm studies on shoulder pain indicate that a lot of these patients do get better.
Resting and grading the return to movement and strength seems to be the best options. Injections can help with pain but are not a cure. And the latest study by Kuhn et al 2013 found that exercise was as effective as surgery for these patients.

So things are hopeful. If you have shoulder pain, sure it’s complicated but the research indicates that you can get better with rest, exercise and physiotherapy.

If you have anything you want to chat over, please do contact one of our physiotherapists to chat things over in terms of treatment options.

And many thanks to Jeremy Lewis for highlighting these studies.


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