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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1994 Jan;17(1):43-53.

Treating shoulder impingement using the supraspinatus synchronization exercise.

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Bowles Chiropractic, Louisville, KY 40222.



More and more athletes are seeking care in the chiropractic office for athletic injuries. This article presents a case report of a young athletic patient suffering from bilateral shoulder pain-shoulder impingement and presents a review of the literature and a review of shoulder anatomy. This report introduces the supraspinatus synchronization exercise with discussion and illustrations. This patient was treated using the supraspinatus synchronization exercise.


A 16-yr-old female was seen suffering from a 4-month history of shoulder pain. She was a competitive swimmer in high school athletics and the pain was made worse by swimming the backstroke. A clinical diagnosis of bilateral stage I impingement of the shoulder (Neer's classification) was made.


The patient was given instructions on how to perform the supraspinatus synchronization exercise, conservative therapies including chiropractic manipulative therapy, ice, high-voltage electrical muscle stimulation and rehabilitation exercise band exercises were also used. The patient was treated for seven treatments over a 4-wk period with resolution of the condition.


The shoulder is a very complex joint, and many authors discuss the necessity of smooth synchronous movement to keep it pain free without going into how one measures this synchronous movement. The case presented in this report responded quickly to conservative treatment using the supraspinatus synchronization exercise. A good well-designed clinical trial needs to be set up to check the efficacy of this exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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