After lumbar and neck conditions, shoulder pain is the third most frequent musculoskeletal issue in clinical practice. Likewise, subacromial impingement syndrome is the most common cause of shoulder pain.

Subacromial impingement occurs when the top outer edge of the shoulder blade rubs against the shoulder tendons as they pass through the subacromial space, resulting in inflammation and irritation. Symptoms of subacromial impingement syndrome include pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion.

The main goal of subacromial impingement physical therapy is to reduce pain while solving the mechanical problem causing functional impairment. Other treatment options include rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injects, and surgery.

How Shockwave Therapy Improves Subacromial Impingement Physical Therapy

Shockwave therapy has been proven to treat many musculoskeletal issues without the need for surgery or drugs. Using acoustic pressure waves to enhance metabolism and blood circulation in a targeted area, shockwave therapy stimulates cells in the body responsible for healing bone and connective tissue injuries.

A study published in Lasers in Medical Science compared low-level laser treatment (LLLT) to shockwave therapy for treating subacromial impingement syndrome. Researchers randomly split a group of 71 patients with subacromial impingement syndrome into two groups. One group received LLLT while the other received shockwave therapy.

The LLLT group received 15 sessions while the shockwave therapy group received treatment once a week for three weeks. Researchers evaluated the patients before and after treatment and then again three months later using range of motion (ROM), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS pain), Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI), Beck Depression and Anxiety Inventories, the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

Except for the mental health score in the LLLT group, both groups saw significant improvement in all outcome measures. However, researchers noted the ESWT group showed more improvements in terms of SPADI, PSQI, and physical-mental health scores at the end of treatment. Additionally, three months after treatment, the ESWT group also saw significantly greater improvements in VAS and SPADI scores.

Upgrade Your Practice

If you’re looking to add shockwave therapy to your subacromial impingement physical therapy program, Shockwave Canada has the technology you need. We are the exclusive distributor of Storz shockwave therapy machines in Canada, the industry leader in shockwave technology. And with our experts providing you 24/7 support with their over twenty years of experience, you’ll be in good hands.

To learn more about integrating this groundbreaking technology into your practice, call 1-866-596-4049 or visit our website today.