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.  A total of 221 participants (mean age 56 yrs) were recruited. 113 participants were randomized to US and 108 to placebo US. The results show that the mean (95% CI) reduction in SDQ scores at 6 weeks was 17 points (13–26) for US and 13 points (9–17) for placebo US (P = 0.06). There were no statistically significant differences at the 5% level in mean changes between groups at any of the time points.  The authors concludedt that 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.

Rheumatology 2007 46(5):815-820

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