Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Radiologe. 2004 Jun;44(6):597-603.

Conservative treatment and rehabilitation of shoulder problems

[Article in German]

Paternostro-Sluga T, Zöch C.

Klinik für Physikalische Medizin und Rehabilitation, Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Medizinischen Universität Wien. tatjana.paternostro-sluga@univie.ac.at

Abstract

The shoulder joint has an important influence on arm- and hand function. Therefore, activities of daily living, working and leisure time can be negatively influenced by diseases of the shoulder joint. Problems of the shoulder joint can be induced by muscular dysbalance and poor body posture. There is a strong relationship between shoulder function and body posture. Conservative treatment and rehabilitation of the shoulder joint aims at improving the local dysfunction of the shoulder joint as well as at improving function and social participation. Antiinflammatory and pain medication, exercise, occupational, electro-, ultrasound and shock wave therapy, massage, thermotherapy and pulsed electromagnetic fields are used as conservative treatments. Exercise therapy aims at improving muscular performance, joint mobility and body posture. Occupational therapy aims at improving functional movements for daily living and work. Electrotherapy is primarily used to relieve pain. Shock wave and ultrasound therapy proved to be an effective treatment for patients with calcific tendinitis. The subacromial impingement syndrome can be effectively treated by conservative therapy.

Lancet. 1984 Mar 31;1(8379):695-8.

Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy of persistent rotator cuff tendinitis.  A double-blind controlled assessment.

Binder A, Parr G, Hazleman B, Fitton-Jackson S.

The value of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) for the treatment of persistent rotator cuff tendinitis was tested in a double-blind controlled study in 29 patients whose symptoms were refractory to steroid injection and other conventional conservative measures. The treated group (15 patients) had a significant benefit compared with the control group (14 patients) during the first 4 weeks of the study, when the control group received a placebo. In the second 4 weeks, when all patients were on active coils, no significant differences were noted between the groups. This lack of difference persisted over the third phase, when neither group received any treatment for 8 weeks. At the end of the study 19 (65%) of the 29 patients were symptomless and 5 others much improved. PEMF therapy may thus be useful in the treatment of severe and persistent rotator cuff and possibly other chronic tendon lesions.

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