Effectiveness of physical therapy for patients with adhesive capsulitis: a randomized controlled trial

J Med Assoc Thai. 2004 May;87(5):473-80.


Objective: To compare the effectiveness of a combined technique of physical and ibuprofen for the treatment of adhesive capsulitis with ibuprofen alone.

Material and method: 122 subjects were randomly allocated to have 3 weeks treatment either with ibuprofen (n=61) or ibuprofen and a combined technique of physical therapy (n=61). Outcome measures were carried out 3 weeks and 12 weeks after randomization. Primary outcome measures were the success of treatment measured by improvement in the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index, and global rating.

Results: At 3 weeks, 21 (35.0%) of 60 patients in the study group were considered to have had successful treatment compared with 11 (18.6%) of 59 in the control group (difference between groups 16.4%, 95% CI: 4.0-31.3, p=0.044). There was no significant difference in the success rate between the two groups at the 12th week follow-up.

Conclusion: The results of this study support the use of physical therapy for patients with adhesive capsulitis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Bursitis / physiopathology
  • Bursitis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physical Therapy Modalities* / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics