Eccentric versus conventional exercise therapy in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy: a randomized, single blinded, clinical trial
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To investigate the effectiveness of isolated eccentric versus conventional exercise therapy in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy.
Thirty-six patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy, diagnosed by an orthopaedic surgeon, were included and randomly allocated to an isolated eccentric exercise (EE) group (n = 20, mean age = 50.2 ± 10.8 years) or a conventional exercise (CG) group (n = 16, mean age = 48.6 ± 12.3 years). Both groups fulfilled a 12-week daily home-based exercise programme and received a total amount of nine treatment sessions. The Constant Murley score was used to evaluate both objective (e.g. range of motion and strength) and subjective measures (e.g. pain and activities of daily living). A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to evaluate pain during daily activities. As secondary outcomes, shoulder range of motion and isometric abduction strength in 45° in the scapular plane were evaluated. All measurements were taken at baseline, at 6, 12 and 26 weeks.
After 26 weeks, both groups showed a significant increase in the Constant Murley score and a significant decrease in VAS scores. No difference was found between the groups, for any of the evaluated outcome measures.
A 12-week-isolated eccentric training programme of the rotator cuff is beneficial for shoulder function and pain after 26 weeks in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy. However, it is no more beneficial than a conventional exercise programme for the rotator cuff and scapular muscles. Based on the results, clinicians should take into account that performing two eccentric exercises twice a day is as effective as performing six concentric/eccentric exercises once a day in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy.
KeywordsRotator cuff tendinopathy, subacromial pain syndrome Exercise therapy Resistance training Eccentric training
The authors would like to thank Peer Konings and Nicky van Melick for their assistance in the development of the study protocol and recruitment of study participants.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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