Treatment of shoulder pain utilizing mechanical diagnosis and therapy principles

In this case report the author describes the efficacy of mechanical diagnosis and therapy (MDT) in the management of a patient referred with a diagnosis of shoulder tendonitis. The patient was a 56-year-old male with a 3-month history of left anterior shoulder pain. Upon initial assessment, he presented with a positive open-can test, lift-off test, and Hawkins‐Kennedy impingement test. A MDT assessment quickly ruled out cervical involvement and found a loss of end-range shoulder mobility and pain during active shoulder movement. Following repeated movement examination and treatment based on responses to end-range movements over three visits, the patient’s shoulder pain was abolished and motion was completely restored. Even though he presented with positive rotator cuff and impingement signs, this patient was effectively treated with repeated end-range movements over a short period of 2 weeks.

The author concluded that this case shows that treatment based on MDT sub-classification principles could be an effective means of managing shoulder pain as it is in the spine.