Transdermal nitroglycerine treatment of shoulder tendinopathies in patients with spinal cord injuries

Spinal Cord. 2011 Sep;49(9):1014-9. doi: 10.1038/sc.2011.41. Epub 2011 May 3.


Study design: A clinical blind study was conducted to determine the efficacy of transdermal nitroglycerine treatment on the awareness of shoulder pain.

Objective: This study aims to determine the effects of transdermal nitroglycerine on shoulder pain and on functional shoulder movement in patients with spinal cord injuries and shoulder tendinopathies. A second aim is to establish the side effects of the treatment.

Setting: Hospital "La Fe" in Valencia, Spain.

Methods: A total of 45 spinal cord injury patients, all of whom are wheelchair users with shoulder tendinopathy, were randomly divided into two groups: placebo (n=12) and experimental (n=33). The experimental group (EG) received transdermal treatment for 6 months in the form of a 1.25 mg nitroglycerine (NT) patch on the greater tubercle. A placebo patch was used with the placebo subjects. Functional shoulder movements were assessed by articular range of motion and pain, using a visual analogical scale.

Results: NT treatment reduced the awareness of shoulder pain and increased the functional movement and range of articular motion in the shoulders of the EG members (P<0.05).

Conclusions: We conclude that transdermal NT is an efficient method for treating shoulder tendinopathies in wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitroglycerin / administration & dosage*
  • Placebo Effect
  • Shoulder Pain / drug therapy*
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology*
  • Shoulder Pain / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Tendinopathy / drug therapy*
  • Tendinopathy / etiology*
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology
  • Transdermal Patch
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitroglycerin