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Manipulative Therapy in Addition to Usual Medical Care for Patients With Shoulder Dysfunction and Pain: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Dysfunction of the spine in the neck and upper back and the nearby ribs (also called the shoulder girdle) may predict the occurrence and poor outcome of shoulder symptoms. This study tested the effectiveness of manipulative therapy for the shoulder girdle in addition to usual medical care for relief of shoulder pain and dysfunction in 150 patients. All patients received usual medical care from their general practitioners. Only the intervention group received additional manipulative therapy, up to 6 treatment sessions in a 12-week period. After completion of treatment (12 weeks), 43% of the intervention group and 21% of the control group reported full recovery. After 52 weeks, approximately the same difference in recovery rate was seen between groups. During the intervention and follow-up periods, a consistent difference was found in severity of the main complaint, shoulder pain and disability, and general health which favored the addition of manipulative therapy. In this study manipulative therapy for the shoulder girdle in addition to usual medical care accelerated recovery of shoulder symptoms. Bergman GJ, Winters JC, Groenier KH, et al. Annals of Internal Medicine. 141(6):432-9, 2004 Sep 21.



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