Research Article| Volume 3, ISSUE 4, P261-266, 1993

Shoulder pain in stroke patients and its effects on rehabilitation

  • Kanakadurga Rao Poduri
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. K. Rao Poduri at University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 664, Rochester, NY 14642, U.S.A.
    From the Rochester Rehabilitation Center and the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, U.S.A.
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      The purpose of this study was to examine whether prompt diagnosis and management of shoulder pain is beneficial in decreasing pain and increasing range of motion and functional recovery. Among 116 stroke patients receiving outpatient rehabilitation, 48 had shoulder pain. Twenty-eight of the patients with shoulder pain received occupational therapy and physiatric management. Five of the 28 patients had specific diagnoses. Etiology of the pain in the remaining 23 patients (Group 1) was not known, and these patients were treated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The remaining 20 (Group 2) received only occupational therapy and were used as the control group. Pain relief, range of motion (ROM) in flexion, and abduction and functional recovery were compared in the two groups. Results show that a significantly higher percentage of Group 1 was found to have pain relief; 91% versus 15% with p < 0.00001 for the difference. A significant number of patients improved ROM for flexion and abduction in Group 1 versus Group 2 (p < 0.006 and p < 0.055 for the difference for flexion and abduction, respectively). Functional recovery was highly significant for Group 1,100% compared to 55% for Group 2, with p < 0.0001 for the difference. These results emphasize the importance of management of shoulder pain with NSAIDs along with ROM exercises for successful rehabilitation of hemiplegic patients.

      Key Words


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