A prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial of ultrasound in the physiotherapy treatment of shoulder pain

R. Ainsworth, K. Dziedzic, L. Hiller, J. Daniels, A. Bruton and J. Broadfield

The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of manual therapy and ultrasound (US) with manual therapy and placebo ultrasound (placebo US) in the treatment of new episodes of unilateral shoulder pain referred for physiotherapy.  Participants all received advice and home exercises and were randomized to additionally receive manual therapy plus US or manual therapy plus placebo US. The primary outcome measure was the Shoulder Disability Questionnaire (SDQ-UK). Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 6 months. The authors concluded tha the addition of US was not superior to placebo US when used as part of a package of physiotherapy in the short-term management of shoulder pain. This has important implications for physiotherapy practice.

Rheumatology Advance Access published online on January 11, 2007

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