Physiotherapy Versus Injections

Shoulder pain is a very common musculoskeletal condition that many people suffer from. Depending on the specific diagnosis, corticosteroid Injections are a commonly recommended solution or short term “fix”. For many people the prospect however of having an injection, or series of injections, is not an overly exciting. This thinking therefore raises the question of are there alternate longer-term solutions?

Sub-acromial impingement is a pain in the shoulder that increases with above-head movements. It is a condition where the space between the acromium (a shoulder bone) and supraspinatus (one of the rotator cuffs) become compromised, evidently impinging on the bursa between them. It regularly suggested by many general practitioners and orthopaedic surgeons that corticosteroid injections are a great way for reducing pain and improve range of motion or movement of the shoulder.

So are Corticosteroid Injections or physiotherapy the more effective long-term?

A 2016 study by Burger & Africa et al. investigated and compared corticosteroid injections to physiotherapy conventions (not limited to manual stretches, strengthening work and ultrasound therapy). This research conclusively found patients with sub-acromial impingement only had a short-term improvement in their symptoms when treated by corticosteroid injection. It was also found that there was also no superiority of corticosteroids over conventional physiotherapy management.

Want to avoid injections and have a longer term solution? See the PROHEALTH PHYSIO for expert diagnosis, treatment and advice.

For further information, please refer to:

Effect of corticosteroid injections versus physiotherapy on pain, shoulder range of motion and shoulder function in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome

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