Stretching Exercises for Subacromial Impingement Syndrome: Effects of 6-Week Program on Shoulder Tightness, Pain, and Disability Status

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Increasing soft tissue flexibility and joint mobility is one of the important aims of studies to treat subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS). Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a stretching program on posterior capsule tightness, pectoralis minor tightness, pain severity, and disability status in SIS. Design: Single-group pretest posttest design. Setting: University outpatient clinic. Participants: 18 participants diagnosed with SIS (34.8±9.4 y, symptoms duration 5.8±4.9 months) were included in the study. Intervention: The 6-week self-stretching program for pectoralis minor, posterior capsule, levator scapula, and latissimus dorsi was performed. Main Outcome Measures: Posterior capsule tightness, pectoralis minor tightness, pain severity (visual analog scale), and self-reported shoulder-related pain and disability status (Shoulder Pain and Disability Index) were used to assess changes in flexibility and symptoms. Results: Comparisons showed that there was significantly less posterior capsule and pectoralis minor tightness, less pain severity on activity and at night, and a lower disability score reported after the 6-week stretching program (P < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in pain severity at rest after the 6-week stretching program (P > 0.05). Conclusions: The findings of the study showed that flexibility, pain severity, and disability gains can be achieved with a 6-week stretching exercise training for participants with SIS. Therefore, shoulder girdle stretching exercises should be recommended early in shoulder rehabilitation program.

Turgut and Duzgun are with the Dept of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. Baltaci is with the Dept of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Private Guven Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

Address author correspondence to Elif Turgut at elifcamci@hacettepe.edu.tr.
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