Objective: To verify the clinical therapeutic effects on shoulder joint pain of rotator cuff injury treated with electroacupuncture (EA) and Mulligan's mobilization.
Methods: A total of 120 patients of shoulder joint pain of rotator cuff injury were randomized into an EA group, a rehabilitation group and a combined therapy group, 40 cases in each one. In the EA group, EA was applied to Jianzhen (SI 9), Jianliao (TE 14), Jianyu (LI 15), Tianzong (SI 11), Jianqian (extra) and Binao (LI 14) in the affected side. Of these acupoints, Jianliao (TE 14) and Jianyu (LI 15), Jianzhen (SI 9) and Tianzong (SI 11) were stimulated with Han's electric apparatus. In the rehabilitation group, Mulligan's mobilization was used, including scapular mobilization, static joint mobilization and dynamic joint mobilization. In the combined therapy group, EA was used in combination with Mulligan mobilization. The treatment was given once a day in each group, 5 sessions a week, totally for 6 weeks. The pain intensity of shoulder joint (VAS), the University of California at Los Angeles shoulder rating scale (UCLA) and the range of motion (ROM) of shoulder joint were evaluated before and 6 weeks after treatment separately. The adverse reactions were recorded in each group.
Results: VAS scores were all reduced, UCLA scores increased and ROM improved after treatment as compared with those before treatment in the patients of the three groups (all P<0.05). After treatment, VAS score, UCLA score and ROM in the combined therapy group were remarkably improved as compared with those in the EA group and the rehabilitation group (all P<0.05). Regarding the improvements of VAS and UCLA scores, the results in the EA group were better than those in the rehabilitation group (both P<0.05). Regarding ROM improvement, the results in the rehabilitation group were superior to those in the EA group (all P<0.05). There was no adverse reaction in the two groups.
Conclusion: The combined therapy of EA and Mulligan's mobilization relieves shoulder joint pain of rotator cuff injury, better than the simple application of either EA or Mulligan's mobilization.
Keywords: Mulligan’s mobilization; electroacupuncture; randomized controlled trial (RCT); rotator cuff injury; shoulder joint pain.