The Pulse

Decreasing Pain and Improving Functional Shoulder Mobility Using Diathermy and Exercise

Posted by ACP on Jan 14, 2019 11:53:43 PM

Patient Information: Female, Age 86

Diagnosis: Right Shoulder Fracture / Shoulder Pain

History: This woman fell at her home in an assisted living facility, resulting in a fracture of her
right shoulder. She was evaluated and treated in the emergency room and returned home with an immobilizer to limit the movement of her shoulder. After six weeks of right shoulder immobilization, she was referred to outpatient therapy. Prior to her fall she lived in an assisted living facility and was independent with dressing, eating, and bathing.

Pre-Therapy Status:
•Right Shoulder Pain: Moderate (5/10) at rest; severe (8/10) with movement.
•Shoulder Pain and Disability Index: 56.92% on a 0% (best) to 100% (worst) scale.
•Right Shoulder Active Range of Motion (AROM): Flexion = 75 degrees; abduction = 60 degrees;
external rotation = 20 degrees.
•Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Moderate (50%) assistance for dressing, bathing, and eating.

Therapy Information:
•Modality: OmniSWD® Shortwave Diathermy System.
•Frequency: 3x per week.
•Protocol Specifics: Thermal diathermy to the right shoulder to decrease pain and improve range of motion.
•Duration: Four weeks.
•Other Therapy Services Provided: Passive range of motion, active range of motion exercises, ADL training, and home exercise program.

• Right Shoulder Pain: Absent (0/10) at rest; mild (2/10) with movement.
• Shoulder Pain and Disability Index: 35.4%, a 21.54 point improvement from baseline.
• Right Shoulder AROM: Greatly improved; flexion = 125 degrees (67% improvement); abduction = 115 degrees (92% improvement); external rotation = 50 degrees (150% improvement).
• ADLs: Independent for dressing, bathing, and eating.

This woman and her therapist are thrilled with the improvements she made in therapy, especially since her doctor said she would never be able to raise her arm above her shoulder again! This woman is happy she was able remain at home while she rehabilitated. She plans to continue with therapy and her home exercise program.

Topics: Fall Prevention & Balance, Pain Management, Patient Success Story