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Randomised controlled trial
Similar clinical outcomes but more healthcare use in shoulder impingement patients following corticosteroid injection compared with physical therapy
  1. Nadine E Foster
  1. Keele University, Research Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele, Staffordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Nadine E Foster, Keele University, Research Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, David Weatherall Building, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK; n.foster{at}

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Subacromial shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS) can cause shoulder problems and corticosteroid injections and physical therapy (exercise and manual therapy) are among the most common treatments. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) compares these treatments in adults with SIS.


This RCT recruited 104 patients with SIS who had been referred to physical therapy and who had at least a score of 20 (of 100) on the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI).1 Patients were randomised to a package of physical therapy (delivered two times per week over 3 weeks) and a home exercise programme or to a package of subacromial corticosteroid injection (40 mg of triamcinolone acetonide in up to three injections over 12 months) and written …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.