Effects of eccentric exercise in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Rachel Chester info

Key Points

  1. During a course of treatment, compared to other exercises, eccentric exercises provide a very small, short term, reduction in pain and no change in function.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Systematic reviews of exercise interventions for subacromial impingement syndrome or rotator cuff related shoulder pain (1) indicate that exercise is effective in reducing pain and increasing function (2,3). However, the most effective form of exercise is unknown (2,3). Eccentric exercises, performed when muscles actively lengthen, are commonly used for tendon related pain in other regions, albeit with varying effectiveness (4,5). The authors of this study conducted a systematic review to investigate the effectiveness of eccentric exercise compared with other exercises or interventions on reducing pain and increasing function for people with a clinical diagnosis of “subacromial impingement syndrome”.

Exercise is effective in reducing pain and increasing function for subacromial impingement syndrome or rotator cuff related shoulder pain. However, the most effective form of exercise is unknown.
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If prescribing eccentric exercises, monitor pain reduction closely, progressing loading and integrating goal-specific or functional exercises once progress plateaus.

METHODS

The authors searched 3 databases for randomised controlled trials. Eligibility criteria:

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