Interventions Associated With an Increased or Decreased Likelihood of Pain Reduction and Improved Function in Patients With Adhesive Capsulitis: A Retrospective Cohort Study

The purpose of this study was to determine whether physical therapy interventions predicted meaningful short-term improvement in 4 measures of physical health, pain, and function for patients diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis.  Data were examined from 2,370 patients.  A nested logistic regression model was used to identify intervention categories that predicted a 50% or greater change in Physical Component Summary-12 (PCS-12), physical function (PF), bodily pain (BP), and hybrid function (HF) scores.  None of the patients achieved a 50% or greater improvement in PCS-12 scores. Improvement in BP scores was more likely in patients who received joint mobility interventions. Improvement in HF scores was more likely in patients who received exercise interventions. Use of iontophoresis, phonophoresis, ultrasound, or massage reduced the likelihood of improvement in these 3 outcome measures by 19% to 32%. 

These results demonstrate the effectiveness of joint mobilization and exercise for patients with adhesive capsulitis. Ultrasound, massage, iontophoresis, and phonophoresis reduced the likelihood of a favorable outcome, which suggests that use of these modalities should be discouraged.

Physical Therapy, 6 March 2009, online article ahead of print

Link to Abstract