Chronic Shoulder Pain: Part II. Treatment



FREE PREVIEW Log in or buy this issue to read the full article. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles. Subscribe now.


FREE PREVIEW Subscribe or buy this issue. AAFP members and paid subscribers get free access to all articles.

Am Fam Physician. 2008 Feb 15;77(4):493-497.

  This is part II of a two-part article on chronic shoulder pain. Part I, “Evaluation and Diagnosis,” appears in this issue of AFP on page 453.

Chronic shoulder pain is a common problem in the primary care physician's office. Effective treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis of the more common etiologies: rotator cuff disorders, adhesive capsulitis, acromioclavicular osteoarthritis, glenohumeral osteoarthritis, and instability. Activity modification and analgesic medications comprise the initial treatment in most cases. If this does not lead to improvement, or if the initial presentation is of sufficient severity, a trial of physical therapy that focuses on the specific diagnosis is indicated. Combined steroid and local anesthetic injections can be used alone or as an adjuvant to the physical therapy. The site of the injection (subacromial, acromioclavicular joint, or intra-articular) depends on the diagnosis. Injections into the glenohumeral joint should be done under fluoroscopic guidance. Symptoms that persist or worsen after six to 12 weeks of directed treatment should be referred to an orthopedic specialist.

An estimated 20 percent of the population will suffer shoulder pain during their lifetime.1 Shoulder pain is second only to low back pain in patients seeking care for musculoskeletal ailments in the primary care setting.2 Part I of this two-part article, which appears in this issue of AFP, presents an approach for diagnosing chronic shoulder disorders such as rotator cuff pathology, adhesive capsulitis, acromioclavicular osteoarthritis, glenohumeral osteoarthritis, and instability. This part of the article addresses the treatments of these conditions.

SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE

Clinical recommendation Evidence rating References

Most patients with chronic shoulder pain improve with nonoperative treatment. Worse outcomes are associated with severe pain, prolonged symptoms, or gradual onset.

B

4, 5

There is little evidence for or against the use of medication for chronic shoulder pain.

B

10

Physical therapy can provide improved short-term recovery and long-term function for rotator cuff disorders.

B

11

Although subacromial corticosteroid injections for rotator cuff disorders are very common in clinical practice, there is little evidence to support or refute its use.

B

1216

Glenohumeral joint injection has been shown to hasten the resolution of symptoms in patients with adhesive capsulitis, but most patients resolve without intervention, and interventions have not been shown to improve long-term outcomes.

B

16, 19


A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence; B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence; C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series. For information about the SORT evidence rating system, see page 410 or http://www.aafp.org/afpsort.xml.

SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE

View Table

SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE

Clinical recommendation Evidence rating References

Most patients with chronic shoulder pain improve with nonoperative treatment. Worse outcomes are associated with severe pain, prolonged symptoms, or gradual onset.

B

4, 5

There is little evidence for or against the use of medication for chronic shoulder pain.

B

10

Physical therapy can provide improved short-term recovery and long-term function for rotator cuff disorders.

B

11

Although subacromial corticosteroid injections for rotator cuff disorders are very common in clinical practice, there is little evidence to support or refute its use.

B

1216

Glenohumeral joint injection has been shown to hasten the resolution of symptoms in patients with adhesive capsulitis, but most patients resolve without intervention, and interventions have not been shown to improve long-term outcomes.

B

16, 19


A = consistent, good-quality patient-oriented evidence; B = inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence; C = consensus, disease-oriented evidence, usual practice, expert opinion, or case series. For information about the SORT evidence rating system, see page 410 or http://www.aafp.org/afpsort.xml.

Treatment Overview

A recent Cochrane review showed little evidence for or against the most common treatments of these chronic shoulder disorders;3 this is mainly because of a lack of well-designed clinical trials. Nonetheless, most patients with a chronic shoulder disorder can initially be treated conservatively with some combination of activity modification, physical therapy, medications, and corticosteroid injections, if necessary. This approach produces satisfactory results in the majority of patients.4,5  Referral to a specialist is indicated for patients with pain that does not respond to an appropriate regimen of nonoperative treatment. Table 168 outlines the management of conditions associated with chronic shoulder pain.

Table 1

Management of Chronic Shoulder Pain

Cause Initial management Further treatment options if no improvement with initial management

Acromioclavicular joint osteoarthritis

Activity modification; acetaminophen or NSAIDs

Corticosteroid/local anesthetic injection into the acromioclavicular joint; surgery

Adhesive capsulitis

Activity modification; physical therapy; acetaminophen or NSAIDs; intra-articular corticosteroid injection

Corticosteroid injection, possible surgery

Glenohumeral instability

Activity modification; physical therapy

Surgery

Glenohumeral osteoarthritis

Activity modification; physical therapy; acetaminophen or NSAIDs; treat comorbidities

Corticosteroid injection, possible surgery

Rotator cuff pathology

If small rotator cuff tear: activity modification; physical therapy; acetaminophen or NSAIDs

Corticosteroid injection, possible surgery

If large rotator cuff tear: may either try conservative therapy, as listed above, or go directly to surgery


NSAIDs = nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Information from references 6 through 8.

Table 1   Management of Chronic Shoulder Pain

View Table

Table 1

Management of Chronic Shoulder Pain

Cause Initial management Further treatment options if no improvement with initial management

Acromioclavicular joint osteoarthritis

Activity modification; acetaminophen or NSAIDs

Corticosteroid/local anesthetic injection into the acromioclavicular joint; surgery

Adhesive capsulitis

Activity modification; physical therapy; acetaminophen or NSAIDs; intra-articular corticosteroid injection

Corticosteroid injection, possible surgery

Glenohumeral instability

Activity modification; physical therapy

Surgery

Glenohumeral osteoarthritis

Activity modification; physical therapy; acetaminophen or NSAIDs; treat comorbidities

Corticosteroid injection, possible surgery

Rotator cuff pathology

If small rotator cuff tear: activity modification; physical therapy; acetaminophen or NSAIDs

Corticosteroid injection, possible surgery

If large rotator cuff tear: may either try conservative therapy, as listed above, or go directly to surgery


NSAIDs = nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Information from references 6 through 8.

ACTIVITY MODIFICATION

Activity modification is a simple treatment for reducing shoulder pain with specific recommendations based upon the underlying diagnosis. Reduction or avoidance of overhead activity is the mainstay of treatment for rotator cuff pathology, glenohumeral osteoarthritis, and adhesive capsulitis, because this avoids the painful arc between 60 to 120 degrees, which is a provocative maneuver for the diagnosis of these disorders.9 Avoiding heavy loading of the shoulder can also help with the pain associated with glenohumeral osteoarthritis. Certain overhead activities can precipitate instability symptoms. Bench pressing, kayaking, and overhand throwing are particularly risky in patients with an unstable shoulder. Cross-body shoulder adduction, such as the motion performed in the golf swing or while weight lifting, should be limited in patients with acromioclavicular osteoarthritis because it can recreate acromioclavicular joint pain.9

MEDICATIONS

Pain control is imperative to allow for the progression of treatment. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, or short-term opiate medication may help achieve this goal. There is no conclusive support for the use of NSAIDs over simple analgesia in the treatment of chronic shoulder pain.10 Therefore, the risks and benefits of each class should be considered before use.6

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Physical therapy encompasses a large range of treatments. There are therapeutic modalities designed to alleviate pain directly (heat and ice, ultrasound, iontophoresis, hyperthermia), and stretching and strengthening exercises intended to relieve pain by improving overall shoulder function. The type and focus of physical therapy depends on the underlying etiology. Little evidence exists for the use of therapeutic modalities alone.11 A recent Cochrane review showed that stretching and strengthening provide improved short-term recovery and long-term function in patients with rotator cuff disease.11 The success of physical therapy is optimized when the underlying diagnosis is known and the patient actively participates in the rehabilitation process on a daily basis.

INJECTIONS

If patients have a poor response to initial treatment for chronic shoulder disorders, corticosteroid injections combined with a local anesthetic can be administered. The injection needs to be directed toward the affected area, such as the subacromial space, acromioclavicular joint, or glenohumeral joint. The role of subacromial injection for rotator cuff disease is an area of active research and controversy. Two systematic reviews found little evidence to support or refute the use of subacromial injection; two systematic reviews found it to be beneficial for rotator cuff tendinitis and shoulder pain; and another review suggested a possible small benefit.1216 Individual studies have found subacromial injections to be beneficial, particularly for short-term decreases in pain and increases in function.14,1618 Subacromial injections for rotator cuff disease is a treatment option currently supported by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), although this may change with further review.8

Patients with adhesive capsulitis have been shown to respond to intra-articular injections with decreased pain and increased function, particularly in combination with physical therapy for stretching.16,19 Intra-articular steroid injections are not recommended by the AAOS for glenohumeral osteoarthritis.8 Intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections have shown promise in several studies on glenohumeral osteoarthritis, but the AAOS has no recommendation for this treatment to date.6 Injection into the acromioclavicular joint for osteoarthritis is endorsed by the AAOS, despite few studies demonstrating its effectiveness.8 Injection into the acromioclavicular joint can provide some diagnostic information because even short-term relief of symptoms can help confirm the diagnosis.

Several recent studies have questioned the accuracy of injections performed in the physician's office without radiographic guidance, particularly those injected into the glenohumeral joint.20,21 Therefore, whereas subacromial and acromioclavicular injections can be performed in the office, injection into the glenohumeral joint should ideally be done by an interventional radiologist who performs them under fluoroscopy.

SURGICAL REFERRAL

Although most chronic shoulder problems can be treated conservatively with activity modification, oral medications, physical therapy, and possible corticosteroid injections, there are cases where surgical intervention is required. Patients may require referral if they do not respond to conservative measures despite adequate time with the appropriate treatment. Patients with continued instability or disabling pain that is not responsive to initial conservative measures may require earlier surgical referral.68 Surgical or specialty referral also should be considered when the diagnosis is unknown.68

Treatment of Specific Conditions

ACROMIOCLAVICULAR OSTEOARTHRITIS

Chronic pain from acromioclavicular osteoarthritis is a common condition that can be associated with subacromial impingement syndrome of the shoulder. The mainstay of treatment for this self-limiting disorder is pain control and activity modification.8 Pain control may be accomplished in milder stages with the use of NSAIDs or other analgesics, whereas corticosteroid injections are often effective in short-term pain control for more severe cases.22 Failure to improve or maintain function with conservative measures warrants surgical referral, and resection of the distal clavicle is often effective in relieving pain symptoms.23,24 There has been no systematic review or meta-analysis comparing conservative versus operative treatment of symptomatic chronic acromioclavicular osteoarthritis.

ADHESIVE CAPSULITIS

The treatment of adhesive capsulitis is challenging because both the problem and the initial treatment are painful. Long-term follow-up studies have found that adhesive capsulitis will resolve spontaneously over one to two years without intervention, although some nonfunctional range of motion loss may be chronic.8,25 Treatment is directed at decreasing the duration of symptoms. The mainstays of treatment include activity modification to decrease pain initially, anti-inflammatory or analgesic medication, and a physical therapy regimen for stretching, which should be done with the therapist and at home.

If there is no progress or slow progress after six weeks, an intra-articular steroid injection can potentiate the effects of the physical therapy. An intra-articular injection of lidocaine (Xylocaine) and corticosteroid has shown short-term benefit in decreasing pain and disability at the six week follow-up.26 This improvement may be attributed to capsular distention from the injected solution, as well as the anti-inflammatory effect of the steroid,27 so it is important that the injection into the joint be performed correctly. Accuracy is improved with fluoroscopically assisted injection. The use of dye confirms the position of the needle and provides the added benefit of an arthrogram, which can rule out other concomitant pathologies (such as a rotator cuff tear) as well as distend the joint. The patient should reinitiate the stretching exercises one week after the injection. The need for surgical intervention is rare. Because of the natural history of the disease, referral is not indicated until the patient has failed six months of nonoperative treatment, or if the diagnosis is in question. Surgery generally involves manipulation under anesthesia or arthroscopic capsular releases.

GLENOHUMERAL JOINT INSTABILITY

Chronic shoulder pain from glenohumeral instability may be related to an old dislocation or repetitive overuse in a young athlete with some ligamentous laxity. Treatment for both of these should focus on activity modification and an aggressive strengthening program. Strengthening of the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers can be very helpful, particularly for athletes with traumatic instability.28 Athletes often require progression to plyometric and sport-specific exercises. Because there is little support for these nonoperative treatments in the literature, early referral is recommended in these patients.8 Surgery may be considered if there is failure to improve with conservative treatment or recurrent dislocation and subluxation. Failure to improve may also indicate a secondary issue. In patients older than 40 years, there is a high incidence of associated rotator cuff tears with shoulder dislocations.29 Glenohumeral osteoarthritis that is secondary to the initial injury or a stabilization procedure is also possible.30

GLENOHUMERAL OSTEOARTHRITIS

Glenohumeral osteoarthritis is a less common source of chronic shoulder pain, but it can result in significant pain and disability. The focus of treatment is to maintain overall function with adequate pain control. Initial attempts at pain control may include anti-inflammatory or analgesic medications. If pain is inadequately controlled, an intra-articular injection may be considered, although there is little evidence to support this intervention and it is not endorsed by the AAOS.8

Physical therapy can be helpful to maintain function of the shoulder joint, but should be undertaken with caution. Patients with glenohumeral osteoarthritis often have joint incongruity. Aggressive attempts at increasing the range of motion can be counterproductive. Maintenance of a functional, pain-free range of motion can be helpful. Control of comorbid conditions, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, is imperative. Surgical referral is indicated if conservative treatment fails. The timeframe for referral varies depending on the level of disability. Capsular release and arthroscopic debridement, hemiarthroplasty, and total shoulder arthroplasty are surgical options in the management of glenohumeral osteoarthritis.31 There are no clinical trials or systematic reviews comparing conservative versus surgical treatment outcomes.

ROTATOR CUFF DISORDERS

Chronic shoulder pain caused by rotator cuff pathology often can be treated successfully with a combination of conservative modalities.32,33 Initial treatment involves activity modification, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory or analgesic medication. The goal of physical therapy is to optimize the function of the shoulder joint complex through improvements of strength, range of motion, and proprioception. If a patient has made little progress after several weeks, or if the patient has significantly limited function secondary to pain initially, a subacromial corticosteroid injection may provide significant pain control that allows an improved range of motion and progression into physical therapy.34 Provided that clinical assessment demonstrates an intact rotator cuff, a three- to six-month trial of conservative treatment is considered adequate before referral. For small rotator cuff tears, six to 12 weeks of nonoperative treatment is reasonable before referral. The physician needs to be attentive to large, retracted rotator cuff tears, which are especially likely if there has been a history of trauma or a dislocation. These patients often present with severe pain and significant weakness with testing of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, or subscapularis. Prompt referral is indicated in these cases. Surgical treatment options include open, mini-open, or arthroscopic decompression and rotator cuff repair.

Prognosis

The prognosis of chronic shoulder pain largely depends on the underlying pathology, but it appears to respond well to conservative treatment overall.35,36 There is limited research on the success of nonoperative management, but it appears that symptoms of gradual onset, prolonged symptoms, and more severe pain at presentation are associated with a worse outcome for protracted recovery.37,38 In general, the speed of recovery in chronic shoulder pain is slow. Two prospective studies of patients with chronic shoulder pain have shown complete recovery at one month in 23 percent of patients, and at 18 months in 59 percent of patients.4,5

The Authors

KELTON M. BURBANK, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon in private practice in Leominster, Mass. He completed fellowships in sports medicine at the New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, Mass., and the Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Mass. Dr. Burbank received his medical degree and completed a residency in orthopedics at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, and a residency in family practice at the University of Vermont in Milton.

J. HERBERT STEVENSON, MD, serves as director of sports medicine and director of the sports medicine fellowship for the University of Massachusetts Department of Family Medicine in Fitchburg. Dr. Stevenson received his medical degree from the University of Vermont Medical School, Burlington. He completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Connecticut in Hartford, and a residency in family medicine at the University of Massachusetts.

GREGORY R. CZARNECKI, DO, is an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Connecticut in Hartford. He serves as assistant director in the Department of Medicine at Hartford (Conn.) Hospital. Dr. Czarnecki received his medical degree from New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Biddeford, Maine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut in Farmington and a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Massachusetts Department of Family Medicine in Fitchburg.

JUSTIN DORFMAN, DO, is a sports medicine physician in private practice in Southboro, Mass. Dr. Dorfman received his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, Pa. He completed a residency in family medicine at Christiana Care Hospital in Newark, Del., and a fellowship in sports medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Massachusetts in Fitchburg.

Address correspondence to Kelton M Burbank, MD, Longview Orthopaedic Center, HealthAlliance Hospital – Leominster Campus, Professional Office Building, 100 Hospital Rd., Suite 3C, Leominster, MA 01453 (e-mail: kmbortho1@aol.com).

Author disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

REFERENCES

1. Pope DP, Croft PR, Pritchard CM, Silman AJ. Prevalence of shoulder pain in the community: the influence of case definition. Ann Rheum Dis. 199756(5):308–312.

2. Steinfeld R, Valente RM, Stuart MJ. A common sense approach to shoulder problems. Mayo Clin Proc. 199974(8):785–794.

3. Green S, Buchbinder R, Glazier R, Forbes A. Systemic review of randomised controlled trials of interventions for painful shoulder: selection criteria, outcome assessment, and efficacy. BMJ. 1998316(7128):354–360.

4. Croft P, Pope D, Silman A. The clinical course of shoulder pain: prospective cohort study in primary care. Primary Care Rheumatology Society Shoulder Study Group. BMJ. 1996313(7057):601–602.

5. van der Windt DA, Koes BW, Boeke AJ, Deville W, De Jong BA, Bouter LM. Shoulder disorders in general practice: prognostic indicators of outcome. Br J Gen Pract. 199646(410):519–523.

6. Andrews JR. Diagnosis and treatment of chronic painful shoulder: review of nonsurgical interventions. Arthroscopy. 200521(3):333–347.

7. Iannotti JP, Kwon YW. Management of persistent shoulder pain: a treatment algorithm. Am J Orthop. 200534(12 suppl):16–23.

8. Self EB. Clinical guidelines for shoulder pain. In: Norris TR, ed. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update. Shoulder and Elbow 2. 2nd ed. Rosemont, Ill.: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2002:443–467.

9. Litaker D, Pioro M, El Bilbeisi H, Brems J. Returning to the bedside: using the history and physical examination to identify rotator cuff tears. J Am Geriatr Soc. 200048(12):1633–1637.

10. Ejnisman B, Andreoli CV, Soares BG, et al. Interventions for tears of the rotator cuff in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD002758.

11. Green S, Buchbinder R, Hetrick S. Physiotherapy interventions for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(2):CD004258.

12. Koester MC, Dunn WR, Kuhn JE, Spindler KP. The efficacy of subacromial corticosteroid injection in the treatment of rotator cuff disease: a systemic review. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 200715(1):3–11.

13. Green S, Buchbinder R, Glazier R, Forbes A. Interventions for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD001156.

14. Arroll B, Goodyear-Smith F. Corticosteroid injections for painful shoulder: a meta-analysis. Br J Gen Pract. 200555(512):224–228.

15. Johansson K, Oberg B, Adolfsson L, Foldevi M. A combination of systematic review and clinicians' beliefs in interventions for subacromial pain. Br J Gen Pract. 200252(475):145–152.

16. Buchbinder R, Green S, Youd JM. Corticosteroid injections for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(1):CD004016.

17. Winters JC, Sobel JS, Groenier KH, Arendzen HJ, Meyboomde Jong B. Comparison of physiotherapy, manipulation, and corticosteroid injection for treating shoulder complaints in general practice: randomised, single blind study. BMJ. 1997314(7090):1320–1325.

18. van der Windt DA, Koes BW, Devillé W, et al. Effectiveness of corticosteroid injections versus physiotherapy for treatment of painful stiff shoulder in primary care: randomised trial. BMJ. 1998317(7168):1292–1296.

19. Carette S, Moffet H, Tardif J, et al. Intraarticular corticosteroids, supervised physiotherapy, or a combination of the two in the treatment of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder: a placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 200348(3):829–838.

20. Sethi PM, Kingston S, Elattrache N. Accuracy of anterior intra-articular injection of the glenohumeral joint. Arthroscopy. 200521(1):77–80.

21. Henkus HE, Cobben PJ, Coerkamp EG, Nelissen RG, van Arkel ER. The accuracy of subacromial injections: a prospective randomized magnetic resonance imaging study. Arthroscopy. 200622(3):277–282.

22. Jacob AK, Sallay PI. Therapeutic efficacy of corticosteroid injections in the acromioclavicular joint. Biomed Sci Instrum. 199734:380–385.

23. Montellese P, Dancy T. The acromioclavicular joint. Prim Care. 200431(4):857–866.

24. Rabalais RD, McCarty E. Surgical treatment of symptomatic acromio-clavicular joint problems: a systematic review. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2007455:30–37.

25. Griggs SM, Ahn A, Green A. Idiopathic adhesive capsulitis. A prospective functional outcome study of nonoperative treatment. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2000;82-A(10):1398–1407.

26. Ryans I, Montgomery A, Galway R, Kernohan WG, McKane R. A randomized controlled trial of intra-articular triamcinolone and/or physiotherapy in shoulder capsulitis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 200544(4):529–535.

27. Buchbinder R, Green S, Forbes A, Hall S, Lawler G. Arthrographic joint distention with saline and steroid improves function and reduces pain in patients with painful stiff shoulder: results of a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 200463(3):302–309.

28. Burkhead WZ Jr, Rockwood CA Jr. Treatment of instability of the shoulder with an exercise program. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 199274(6):890–896.

29. Sonnabend DH. Treatment of primary anterior shoulder dislocation in patients older than 40 years of age. Conservative versus operative. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1994;(304):74–77.

30. Brophy RH, Marx RG. Osteoarthritis following shoulder instability. Clin Sports Med. 200524(1):47–56.

31. Bishop JY, Flatlow EL. Management of glenohumeral arthritis: a role for arthroscopy? Orthop Clin North Am. 200334(4):559–566.

32. Wirth MA, Basamania C, Rockwood CA Jr. Nonoperative management of full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff. Orthop Clin North Am. 199728(1):59–67.

33. Mantone JK, Burkhead WZ Jr, Noonan J Jr. Nonoperative treatment of rotator cuff tears. Orthop Clin North Am. 200031(2):295–311.

34. Blair B, Rokito AS, Cuomo F, Jarolem K, Zuckerman JD. Efficacy of injections of corticosteroids for subacromial impingement syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 199678(11):1685–1689.

35. Ginn KA, Cohen ML. Conservative treatment for shoulder pain: prognostic indicators of outcome. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 200485(8):1231–1235.

36. Zheng X, Simpson JA, van der Windt DA, Elliott AM. Data from a study of effectiveness suggested potential prognostic factors related to the patterns of shoulder pain. J Clin Epidemiol. 200558(8):823–830.

37. Kuijpers T, van der Windt DA, Boeke AJ, et al. Clinical prediction rules for the prognosis of shoulder pain in general practice. Pain. 2006120(3):276–285.

38. Thomas E, van der Windt DA, Hay EM, et al. Two pragmatic trials of treatment for shoulder disorders in primary care: generalisability, course, and prognostic indicators. Ann Rheum Dis. 200564(7):1056–1061.


Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP. Contact afpserv@aafp.org for copyright questions and/or permission requests.

Want to use this article elsewhere? Get Permissions


Article Tools

  • Download PDF
  • Print page
  • Share this page
  • AFP CME Quiz

Information From Industry

More in Pubmed

Navigate this Article