Effects of mobilization with movement on pain and range of motion in patients with unilateral shoulder impingement syndrome

The objective of this study was to compare the immediate effects of mobilization with movement (MWM) to a sham technique in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome. A randomized controlled trial was performed. Forty-two patients (mean ± SD age, 55 ± 9 years; 81% female) met the eligibility criteria, agreed to take part, and were randomized into an MWM group (n = 21) or sham manual contact (n = 21). The primary outcome measures including pain intensity, pain during active range of motion, and maximal active range of motion were assessed by a clinician blinded to group allocation. Outcomes were captured at baseline and following 2 weeks of MWM treatment or sham intervention. The primary analysis was the group×time interaction. The 2×2 analysis of variance revealed a significant group×time interaction for pain intensity during shoulder flexion (F = 7.054; P = .011), pain-free shoulder flexion (F = 32.853; P < .001), maximum shoulder flexion (F = 18.791; P < .01), and shoulder external rotation (F = 7.950; P < .01) in favor of the MWM group. No other significant differences were found.

Patients with shoulder impingement syndrome who received 4 sessions of MWM displayed significantly better outcomes for pain during shoulder flexion, pain-free range of shoulder flexion, maximal shoulder flexion, and maximal external rotation than those patients who were in the sham group.