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.