Effects of Scapular Stabilization Exercise Training on Scapular Kinematics, Disability, and Pain in Subacromial Impingement: A Randomized Controlled Trial


      • Effects of 2 different exercise trainings on pain, disability, and kinematics were evaluated.
      • Exercise training provides decreased disability and pain severity in impingement syndrome.
      • Scapular kinematic alterations were found only after combined scapular stabilization exercises.



      To investigate the effects of 2 different exercise programs on 3-dimensional scapular kinematics, disability, and pain in participants with subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS).


      Randomized controlled trial.


      Outpatient clinic and research laboratory.


      Participants who were diagnosed with SIS and who also exhibited scapular dyskinesis (N=30).


      The participants were randomized in 2 different exercise groups: (1) shoulder girdle stretching and strengthening with additional scapular stabilization exercises based on a kinetic chain approach (intervention group), and (2) shoulder girdle stretching and strengthening exercises only (control group).

      Main Outcome Measures

      Three-dimensional scapular kinematics, self-reported shoulder pain, and disability were evaluated at baseline, after 6 weeks of training, and after 12 weeks of training.


      Significant differences were observed between the control and intervention groups in external rotation and posterior tilt after 6 weeks of training and in external rotation, posterior tilt, and upward rotation after 12 weeks of training. All groups showed improvement in self-reported pain and disability scores; however, there were no significant differences between the groups.


      Progressive exercise training independent from specific scapular stabilization exercises provides decreased disability and pain severity in impingement syndrome.


      List of abbreviations:

      MDC (minimal detectable change), SIS (subacromial impingement syndrome), SPADI (Shoulder Pain and Disability Index)
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