Effects of a traditional versus an alternative strengthening exercise program on shoulder pain, function and physical performance in individuals with subacromial shoulder pain: a randomized controlled trial.

Review written by Andrew Cuff info

Key Points

  1. This study highlights how it is important to read the full paper rather than just the abstract to understand whether results are generalizable and valid or not.
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Subacromial shoulder pain is a historic term for the clinical condition now known as rotator cuff related shoulder pain (RCRSP). This is the most common clinical presentation affecting the shoulder and presents with the person reporting anterolateral upper arm pain, a fully mobile shoulder and weakness (1).

The gold standard treatment for this clinical condition has been demonstrated to be exercise-based, non-operative treatment. Specifically, progressive loading over a minimum period of 12 weeks has been shown to be the preferred approach to treatment (2). This study compared two different approaches to progressive loading of the rotator cuff in those with symptoms for 12 months or more.

Rotator cuff related shoulder pain is the most common clinical presentation affecting the shoulder.
A progressive loading programme remains the gold standard treatment for rotator cuff related shoulder pain.


A randomized clinical trial was performed with three groups: a control group that were provided with advice only, and two exercise-based groups. The first exercise group was advised on a progressive loading regime over 8 weeks using a theraband only,

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