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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Oct;94(10 Suppl 1):912-20. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000336.

Addition of Suprascapular Nerve Block to a Physical Therapy Program Produces an Extra Benefit to Adhesive Capsulitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Atatürk State Hospital, Antalya, Turkey (ZK); and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Antalya Training and Research Hospital, Antalya, Turkey (MBF, TÇ, NFT).



The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of suprascapular nerve block plus physical therapy (PT) with PT alone for the treatment of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.


Forty-one patients with adhesive capsulitis were randomly assigned to the injection group (n = 19) or PT-alone control group (n = 22). All patients received PT consisting of electrotherapy, range of motion, stretching, and strengthening exercises. The patients in the injection group received suprascapular nerve block before PT. Pain was assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form, and functional status was assessed with the total Constant score.


In both groups, significant differences were found in all parameters of the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form compared with baseline levels apart from walking ability in the last 24 hrs (P = not applicable). However, the differences of mean pain severity in the last 24 hrs at first to second and first to third assessments, pain severity at that time at first to second assessments, percentage improvement at second to third assessments, general activity in the last 24 hrs at first to second and first to third assessments, and enjoyment of life in the last 24 hrs at first to second and first to third assessments were statistically significant in favor of the injection group (P < 0.05).


The current study supports that suprascapular nerve block is a safe and well-tolerated method. PT was found to be effective in reducing pain severity and functional disability, and the addition of suprascapular nerve block to PT improved functional status and pain levels in patients with adhesive capsulitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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