Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare axillary ultrasound, laser, and postisometric facilitation technique with standard care in the management of shoulder adhesive capsulitis.
Methods: This is a randomized clinical trial study. Fifty-nine participants with shoulder adhesive capsulitis were selected and randomly assigned for eligibility. Forty-five participants were assigned into 3 equal groups of 15, and 14 participants were excluded from the study. The participants were blinded to their group allocation. Standard care group (A) received traditional physical therapy treatment in the form of pulsed ultrasound, scanning laser, supervised exercise program, and home exercise program; group B received the same physical therapy program as group A, except that the ultrasound and scanning laser were applied to the axillary region of the painful shoulder; and group C received the same modified physical therapy program as group B plus postisometric facilitation technique to the painful shoulder. All dependent variables were measured by the second author, who was blinded to the participant's intervention group. The first author administered treatment to all 3 groups. All participants received 12 sessions (3 times/wk for 4 weeks). Pain level and shoulder range of motion (ROM; flexion, abduction, and external rotation) were recorded 3 times (pretreatment, immediately posttreatment, and 4 weeks of treatment).
Results: Mixed-design multivariate analysis of variance indicated significant pain reduction with significant ROM increase in all groups posttreatment and after 4 weeks. Post hoc analysis for within groups revealed that shoulder ROM and pain levels improved significantly posttreatment compared with pretreatment ROM in all groups, with the greatest improvement in group C. Between-group analysis revealed that pain-free shoulder flexion, abduction, external rotation, and pain level improved significantly in group C compared with groups A and B immediately after treatment and after 4 weeks of follow-up (P < .05). Improvements reported in group B is more than in group A, and C is more than in groups A and B.
Conclusions: Combining axillary ultrasound and laser with postisometric facilitation had a greater effect in reducing pain and improving shoulder ROM in patients with shoulder adhesive capsulitis compared with axillary ultrasound and laser with traditional exercise.
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