Passive treatment modalities for shoulder pain
Passive, physical modalities (e.g tape, ultrasound, shockwave, low level laser) are commonly used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, with minimal evidence to support their use. The current systematic review examines the various passive modalities and their effectiveness in treating shoulder pain.
22 randomised control trials from 1990-2013 satisfied the selection criteria and examined subjects diagnosed with common, soft tissue injuries of the shoulder such as subacromial impingement (SAI) and tendinopathy. Serious conditions including fractures and frozen shoulder were excluded.
The authors found that passive modalities are generally ineffective in treating shoulder pain. However, there is some evidence that low-level laser therapy is more effective than placebo or ultrasound for SAI. Shockwave is more effective than sham therapy for calcific tendonitis.
> From: Yu et al., Phys Ther 95 (2015) 306-318. All rights reserved to American Physical Therapy Assocation. Click here for the Pubmed summary.