Materials and Methods: A group of 30 participants diagnosed with SIS were randomized into a placebo (detuned ultrasound) or treatment group (shoulder girdle adjustments). Participants were treated 8 times over 3 weeks and came back for a 1-month follow-up. Outcome measures were Algometry (ALG), goniometric joint range of motion (GON), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SFMPQ). Data were collected at the 1st, 8th, and follow-up visits.
Results: A significant treatment effect was found in favor of the adjustment group on several measures: ALG at treatment 8 (p = 0.025), and the 1-month follow-up (p = 0.014), VAS at 1-month follow-up (p = 0.019), and SFMPQ at 1-month follow-up (p = 0.005).
Discussion: Data in this study appear relatively comparable to previous trials of manual therapy. Prospective power analysis to determine appropriate and/or needed sample size, older age range, blinded assessor, intention to treat statistical analysis, and use of developing functional outcome measures in future trials, however, may permit full generalization.
Conclusion: Further research is necessary for definitive conclusions. Nevertheless, within the parameters of this trial, chiropractic adjustment (manipulation) was superior to placebo in the short-term treatment (7 weeks) of shoulder impingement syndrome. A significant reduction of shoulder pain was demonstrated in the adjustment group by VAS, Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, and algometry (p<0.05 respectively).
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