Principle: A randomised, comparative prospective clinical trial was planned to compare the early response to different rehabilitation methods for adhesive capsulitis taking into consideration the clinical efficacy and the cost effectiveness of the methods.
Methods: Forty patients with adhesive capsulitis were randomised into two treatment groups. The first group (CYR) received the Cyriax approach of deep friction massage and mobilisation exercises three times weekly. The second group (PT) had daily physical therapy including hot pack and short wave diathermy application. Both groups concluded their treatments with stretching exercises and were also instructed to a daily home exercise program. The primary end point of the study was to reach 80% of the normal passive range of motion (ROM) of the shoulder in all planes within a period of two weeks. Secondary end points were the overall ROM and pain response (spontaneous pain, night pain and pain with motion) to each treatment.
Results: 19 patients in the CYR group (95%) and 13 patients in the PT group (65%) reached sufficient ROM at the end of the second week (p <0.05). The improvement in shoulder flexion, inner and outer rotation values and the decrease in pain with motion were significantly better in the CYR group after the first week of treatment.
Conclusion: The Cyriax method of rehabilitation provides a faster and better response than the conventional physical therapy methods in the early phase of treatment in adhesive capsulitis. The method is non-invasive, effective and requires fewer hospital visits for a sufficient early response.