Effects of deep and superficial heating in the management of frozen shoulder
May S. F. Leung, Gladys L.Y. Cheing
Objectives: To determine whether the addition of deep or superficial heating to stretching produces better clinical outcomes than stretching alone in the management of frozen shoulder.
Design: A single-blinded, randomized controlled study.
Subjects: Thirty subjects suffering from the stiffness phase of frozen shoulder.
Methods: Subjects were randomly allocated to receive: (i) deep heating plus stretching; (ii) superficial heating plus stretching; or (iii) stretching alone. Both heating groups received the respective treatments 3 times per week for 4 weeks. All groups received a standard set of shoulder stretching exercises. The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons assessment form was recorded at the baseline, sessions 6 and 12, and at the 4-week follow-up session.
Results: A significant improvement was seen in all groups in all outcome measures except for that of shoulder flexion range. The improvement in the shoulder score index and in the range of motion was significantly better in the deep heating group than in the superficial heating group.
Conclusion: The addition of deep heating to stretching exercises produced a greater improvement in pain relief, and resulted in better performance in the activities of daily living and in range of motion than did superficial heating.
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