The effects of hemiplegic shoulder pain on upper extremity motor function and proprioception

NeuroRehabilitation. 2020;46(4):561-567. doi: 10.3233/NRE-203049.


Background: Hemiplegic shoulder pain (HSP) after stroke has negative effects on functional use of hemiplegic arm.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of HSP on upper extremity motor function and proprioception.

Methods: Hundred and twenty-two patients with hemiplegia were included in this study. The patients' shoulder pain was evaluated by Visual Analog Scale. According to pain scores, patients were divided into two groups as group with HSP (Group 1, n = 76) and group without HSP (Group 2, n = 46). Upper extremity motor function level and proprioception were assessed by using Fugl Meyer Motor Function Scale and the Laser-pointer Assisted Angle Reproduction Test for the 45°, 60° and 90° of shoulder flexion.

Results: Upper extremity motor function and shoulder's proprioceptive sense at each angles of group 1 were found significantly worse than group 2's (p≤0.005). Correlation analysis revealed a significant positive correlation between HSP severity, and upper extremity motor dysfunction and proprioceptive impairment (p < 0.005).

Conclusions: Presence of HSP is one of the main determinators of upper extremity motor function level and proprioceptive ability at different angles. Management of HSP can make a significant contribution to sensorimotor integration by leading to recovery in the motor function and proprioceptive acuity.

Keywords: Stroke; Visual Analog Scale; hemiplegia; proprioception; shoulder pain; upper extremity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hemiplegia / complications
  • Hemiplegia / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proprioception*
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Shoulder Pain / physiopathology*
  • Upper Extremity / physiopathology