Rheumatology International

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 219–225 | Cite as

The course of pain and the restriction of mobility in patients with shoulder complaints in general practice

  • J. C. Winters
  • J. S. Sobel
  • K. H. Groenier
  • J. H. Arendzen
  • B. Meyboom-de Jong
Original Article


The objective of this research was to study the course of the pain and the restriction of mobility of the scapulohumeral joint (ROM) over time, and the factors influencing it, in patients with shoulder complaints in general practice. A total of 101 patients participated in this 25-week follow-up study. For the first 2 weeks, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) was prescribed, after that period the physician could follow his usual therapeutic approach. The NSAIDs prescribed during the first 2 weeks resulted in a rapid decrease in the pain and the ROM. The group with the most severe pain consumed the most tablets, which resulted in a significant decrease in the pain and the ROM. It appeared that the course of the pain from week 2 to week 8 was significantly influenced by pain at inclusion, diagnosis and therapy. The most rapid decrease in the ROM appeared in the first 2 weeks. At week 0 and week 2, differences in the ROM were seen in the subgroups for diagnosis, pain score and age. The pain and the ROM showed most decrease in the first weeks. After 6 weeks hardly any changes were seen in the pain score and the ROM score. The margin of the pain score and the ROM score between the “cured” and the “not cured” patients was a very narrow one.

Key words

Shoulder complaints Pain Limitation of mobility General practice Follow-up study 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Winters
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. S. Sobel
    • 1
  • K. H. Groenier
    • 1
  • J. H. Arendzen
    • 1
  • B. Meyboom-de Jong
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Family Practice and Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of GroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.GlimmenThe Netherlands

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