Electrotherapy modalities for adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)

Matthew Page, Sally Elizabeth Green, Sharon Flora Kramer, Renea Johnston, Brodwen McBain, Rachelle Buchbinder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Background Adhesive capsulitis (also termed frozen shoulder) is a common condition characterised by spontaneous onset of pain, progressive restriction of movement of the shoulder and disability that restricts activities of daily living, work and leisure. Electrotherapy modalities, which aim to reduce pain and improve function via an increase in energy (electrical, sound, light, thermal) into the body, are often delivered as components of a physical therapy intervention. This review is one in a series of reviews which form an update of the Cochrane review ?Physiotherapy interventions for shoulder pain?. Objectives To synthesise the available evidence regarding the benefits and harms of electrotherapy modalities, delivered alone or in combination with other interventions, for the treatment of adhesive capsulitis. Search methods We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL Plus and the ClinicalTrials.gov and World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) clinical trials registries up to May 2014, unrestricted by language, and reviewed the reference lists of review articles and retrieved trials to identify any other potentially relevant trials. Selection criteria We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials using a quasi-randomised method of allocation that included adults with adhesive capsulitis and compared any electrotherapy modality to placebo, no treatment, a different electrotherapy modality, or any other intervention. The two main questions of the review focused on whether electrotherapy modalities are effective compared to placebo or no treatment, or if they are an effective adjunct to manual therapy or exercise (or both). The main outcomes of interest were participant-reported pain relief of 30 or greater, overall pain, function, global assessment of treatment success, active shoulder abduction, quality of life, and the number of participants experiencing any adverse
Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD011324
Pages (from-to)1 - 118
Number of pages118
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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