Shoulder Pain

Shoulder TendinitisShoulder Tendinitis is an inflammation injury to the tendons of the shoulder’s rotator cuff. This condition is most commonly caused by repeated small traumas to the rotator cuff tendons, rather than a one-time more serious injury. This often results in rotator cuff impingement, where the rotator cuff tendon impacts against the acromion bone. When repeated shoulder impingement occurs, the rotator cuff tendon becomes inflamed, resulting in mild to severe pain.

Several studies have shown ESWT to be an effective treatment for calcific and non-calcific tendonitis. One study administered conservative ESWT treatments one time a week for six weeks. The study used a CMS score to measure effectiveness of the treatment. The average pre-treatment score was 65. After three months, the average CMS score raised to 91. The average shoulder range of motion (0°-40°) increased from 28° to 37°. The average pain (0-10 scale) decreased from 6.5-3. Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 2010; 7(2): 91-96

Another study did a 2 to three-year follow-up of patients treated with ESWT. The overall results were as follows: 60.6% of patients were complaints free, 30.3% of patients were significantly better, 3.0% of patients were slightly better, and 6.1% of patients were unchanged. Radiographs showed complete elimination of calcium deposits in 57.6% of patients, partial elimination or fragmentation in 15.1% of patients, and unchanged in 27.3% of patients. No radiographs showed recurrence of calcium deposit 2 years after ESWT treatment. Wang CJ, Yang KD, Wang FS, Chen HH, Wang JW. Shock wave therapy for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder: a prospective clinical study with two-year follow-up. Am J Sports Med. 2003;31(3):425–30.

Another study reported that 12 months after ESWT treatment, 80.8% of patients reported the shoulder was painless, and 19.2 % reported pain relief. Additionally, complete reabsorption of calcific deposits was observed in 75% of patients. Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb. 2003 Nov-Dec;141(6):629-36.

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