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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018 Mar;48(3):174-184. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2018.7716. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Use of Pain Neuroscience Education, Tactile Discrimination, and Graded Motor Imagery in an Individual With Frozen Shoulder.

Abstract

Study Design Case report. Background Aggressive physical therapy in the freezing stage of frozen shoulder may prolong the course of recovery. Central sensitization may play a role in the early stages of frozen shoulder. Pain neuroscience education, tactile discrimination, and graded motor imagery have been used in a number of conditions with central sensitization. The purpose of this case report was to describe the examination and treatment of a patient in the freezing stage of frozen shoulder using pain neuroscience education, tactile discrimination, and graded motor imagery. Case Description A 54-year-old woman with a diagnosis of frozen shoulder was referred by an orthopaedic surgeon following lack of progress after 4 weeks of intensive daily physical therapy. Pain at rest was 7/10, and her Shoulder Pain and Disability Index score was 64%. She had painful and limited active range of motion and elevated fear-avoidance beliefs. Tactile discrimination and limb laterality were impaired, with signs of central sensitization. A "top-down" approach using pain neuroscience education, tactile discrimination, and graded motor imagery was used for the first 6 weeks, followed by a "bottom-up" impairment-based approach. Outcomes The patient was seen for 20 sessions over 12 weeks. At discharge, her Shoulder Pain and Disability Index score was 22%, resting pain was 0/10, and fear-avoidance beliefs improved. Improvements in active range of motion, laterality, and tactile discrimination were also noted. Discussion Intensive physical therapy in the freezing stage of frozen shoulder may be detrimental to long-term outcomes. This case report suggests that a top-down approach may allow a quicker transition through the freezing stage of frozen shoulder. Level of Evidence Therapy, level 5. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018;48(3):174-184. Epub 19 Dec 2017. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.7716.

KEYWORDS:

adhesive capsulitis; central sensitization; top-down

PMID:
29257926
DOI:
10.2519/jospt.2018.7716
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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