Exercise Application in the Treatment of Patients With Subacromial Pain Syndrome


University of Sao Paulo




Shoulder Impingement Syndrome


Other: Motor control exercises
Other: Scapula-focused exercises

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This study evaluate the effectiveness of adding neuromuscular exercises with tactile, visual and auditory feedback to a scapula-focused treatment, both emphasizing the periscapular muscles on improvement of disability in patients with subacromial pain syndrome compared to patients receiving only strengthening exercise protocol.

Full description

Evidence of the effectiveness conservative treatments in shoulder impingement are in favor the application of specific exercises for scapulothoracic muscles and rotator cuff on pain reduction and improvement of upper limb function, supervised or performed at home, and these same exercises associated with other therapies promote a greater reduction in pain and improvement in disability. Currently, the evidence of better methodological quality present in the literature13 points out that the performance of motor control exercises focused on the scapula associated with mobilization and stretching generate pain improvement and clinically relevant improvement of the function. The few studies in this area have great methodological diversity with significant limitations. The hypothesis is that patients with subacromial pain syndrome who will receive traditional exercise protocol with the addition of neuromuscular training will show less functional disability, a greater reduction in pain intensity, increase muscle strength and range of motion when compared to the patient group that will receive only the protocol without neuromuscular training, immediately after the intervention, four and eight weeks and four months after randomization and that these benefits are clinically relevant.


60 patients




18 to 60 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Diagnosis of subacromial pain syndrome with confirmed positivity in at least three of the five specific orthopedic impact tests: Neer test, Hawkins- Kennedy test, painful arc, external rotation resistance and empty can. Present history of pain in the shoulder lasting more than a week located in the proximal area of the shoulder

Exclusion criteria

  • Subjects with a history of trauma or shoulder surgery, total rupture of the rotator cuff tendon and biceps, physically active involving the upper limbs or considered active accordance with the short version International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Subjects who have neurological diseases, referred pain in arms (indicative of involvement in the cervical or thoracic region), systemic disease involving the joints such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia, the presence of disorders in the wrist such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and have done physical therapy in the shoulder the last six months.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Double Blind

60 participants in 2 patient groups

Scapula-focused exercises
Active Comparator group
Side lying external rotation, prone horizontal abduction , Scapular punch, Knee Push, Full can, D1 Diagonal, three times a week, 8 weeks, 3x10 repetitions
Other: Scapula-focused exercises
Motor control exercises
Experimental group
Towel slide, Scapular Clock, PNF scapular, Inferior Glide modified, Scapular Orientation Exercise, protraction and retraction of scapula, three times a week, 8 weeks, 3x10 repetitions
Other: Scapula-focused exercises
Other: Motor control exercises

Trial documents

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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