Scapular kinematics and impairment features for classifying patients with subacromial impingement syndrome

Man Ther. 2010 Dec;15(6):547-51. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2010.06.003. Epub 2010 Jul 7.


Subacromial impingement syndrome (SAIS), which is associated with pain and a loss of function, has a high occurrence in the physically active population. Not all patients respond positively to treatment. Classifying patients can improve decision-making. The scapular kinematic and clinical impairments can aid in classifying the patients who are more likely to respond to physical therapy treatment. Thirty-three subjects (males, 20-33 years) presenting SAIS were studied to determine altered scapular kinematics and clinical impairments. Three measurements were collected: (1) three-dimensional scapular kinematics during performing functional tasks; (2) impairment outcomes of range of motion and muscle force; and (3) self-reported measurements of pain, satisfaction, and function. All patients received 6-week (2 times per week) physical therapy treatment. Improvement with treatment was determined using the Global Rating of Change Scale. Scapular kinematics and clinical impairments were first identified by t-test in predicting improvement and then combined into a multivariate prediction method. A prediction method with three variables (Flexilevel Scale of Shoulder Function score < 41, muscle power of serratus anterior < 27.4% body weight, degree of scapular internal rotation at 30° shoulder elevation during descending arm phase in unloaded condition<0.7°) were identified. It appears that scapular kinematics and impairment features can be used to classify subjects with SAIS in addition to self-report. Prospective validation of the proposed prediction method requires further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Scapula / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / classification*
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology*
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult