The effect of medical exercise therapy on a patient with chronic supraspinatus tendinitis. Diagnostic ultrasound--tissue regeneration: a case study

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Dec;20(6):319-27. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1994.20.6.319.


There is an increased focus on the importance of using active exercise regimes for treating dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system. However, we have little exact knowledge on how to dose and grade exercises or the effect of exercise on the regeneration of low metabolic tissue structures in vivo. This case study deals with both topics and emphasizes the use of exercise only when treating a 73-year-old patient with a 1-year history of shoulder pain. His evaluation indicated chronic supraspinatus syndrome. Different treatment methods had no effect, and medical exercise therapy was tried as a last resort. The patient recovered after 21/2 months with four treatments per week. Diagnostic ultrasound taken before treatment and after a 51/2-month period showed that the supraspinatus tendon had regenerated. These findings are encouraging, supporting the possibility of tendon repair with biomechanical stresses from exercise. To our knowledge, it has never been shown in vivo that it is possible for a low metabolic structure to regenerate using exercise only. Instead of having surgery with an uncertain outcome, today the patient is free of symptoms and living a normal life enjoying his sporting activities nearly 4 years after he finished the treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Chronic Disease
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Regeneration
  • Shoulder Joint
  • Tendinopathy / diagnostic imaging
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology
  • Tendinopathy / prevention & control*
  • Tendons / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography