The subacromial impingement syndrome of the shoulder treated by conventional physiotherapy, self-training, and a shoulder brace: results of a prospective, randomized study

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2004 Jul-Aug;13(4):417-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2004.02.002.


This prospective, randomized trial was performed to compare the results of treating subacromial impingement syndrome of the shoulder by a guided self-training program with the treatment by conventional physiotherapy or a functional brace. Sixty patients with the diagnosis of an outlet impingement syndrome of the shoulder (Neer I and II) were treated either by strengthening the depressors of the humeral head with a guided self-training program, by conventional physiotherapy, or by wearing a functional brace. The Constant-Murley score was assessed after 6 and 12 weeks. Shoulder pain was monitored with a visual analog scale. All three groups showed a significant improvement in shoulder function as well as a significant reduction in pain. There were no statistically significant differences among the groups. Guided self-training can lead to results similar to those of conventional physiotherapy. The comparable effect of the functional brace remains unclear and might be explained by an influence on proprioception.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Braces
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Care*
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome