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Effectiveness of progressive and resisted and non-progressive or non-resisted exercise in rotator cuff related shoulder pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [with consumer summary]
Naunton J, Street G, Littlewood C, Haines T, Malliaras P
Clinical Rehabilitation 2020 Sep:34(9):1198-1216
systematic review

OBJECTIVE: Synthesize evidence regarding effectiveness of progressive and resisted or non-progressive and non-resisted exercise compared with placebo or no treatment, in rotator cuff related pain. DATA SOURCES: English articles, searched in Cochrane CENTRAL, Medline, Embase and CINAHL databases up until May 19, 2020. METHODS: Randomized controlled trials in people with rotator cuff related pain comparing either progressive and resisted exercise or non-progressive and non-resisted exercise, with placebo or no treatment were included. Data extracted independently by two authors. Risk of bias appraised with the Cochrane Collaboration tool. RESULTS: Seven trials (468 participants) were included, four trials (271 participants) included progressive and resisted exercise and three trials (197 participants) included non-progressive or non-resisted exercise. There was uncertain clinical benefit for composite pain and function (15 point difference, 95% CI 9 to 21, 100-point scale) and pain outcomes at > 6 weeks to 6 months with progressive and resisted exercise compared to placebo or no treatment (comparison 1). For non-progressive or non-resisted exercise there was no significant benefit for composite pain and function (4 point difference, 95% CI -2 to 9, 100-point scale) and pain outcomes at > 6 weeks to 6 months compared to placebo or no treatment (comparison 2). Adverse events were seldom reported and mild. CONCLUSIONS: There is uncertain clinical benefit for all outcomes with progressive and resisted exercise and no significant benefit with non-progressive and non-resisted exercise, versus no treatment or placebo at > 6 weeks to 6 months. Findings are low certainty and should be interpreted with caution.

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