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.