Effect of scapular stabilization exercise program in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome: A systematic review

Hariharasudhan Ravichandran, Balamurugan Janakiraman, Asmare Yitayeh Gelaw, Berihu Fisseha, Subramanian Sundaram, Hidangmayum Richa Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Scapular stabilization approaches have been a mainstay of therapeutic training programs in the recent past for patients with subacromial impingement syndrome, whereas its contributions solely in the clinical outcome of reducing shoulder pain and disability are largely unclear. This systematic review aims to evaluate and summarize the best evidence regarding the role of scapular stabilization interventions in alleviating shoulder dysfunction among subjects with subacromial impingement syndrome. Six reviewers involved in this systematic review. Literature was retrieved systematically through searching 5 electronic databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and Google Scholar). Articles published from the year 2010 up to and including 2019 were included. The literature search included clinical trials those intervened subjects with scapular exercises or scapular stabilization exercises or scapular rehabilitation, as an intervention for subacromial impingement syndrome. Seven studies, totaling 228 participants were included in this systematic review. Articles included in this review were graded according to Lloyd-Smith hierarchy of evidence scale and critically appraised with a tool developed by National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (United States), named as quality assessment of controlled intervention studies tool. There was a significant effect on the scapular stabilization exercise program on improving pain and disability among subjects with subacromial impingement syndrome. This systematic review provides sufficient evidence to suggest that scapular stabilization exercises offers effectiveness in reducing pain and disability among subjects with subacromial impingement syndrome. However, more trials with larger sample are needed to provide a more definitive evidence on the clinical outcomes of scapular stabilization exercises among patients with impingement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-226
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Exercise Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Exercise
  • Scapular exercises
  • Scapular stabilization
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Shoulder rehabilitation
  • Subacromial impingement syndrome

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