Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2014Peer reviewed

Physiotherapy treatment of the diabetic shoulder: a longitudinal study following patients with diabetes and shoulder pain using a pre-post treatment design

Thierfelder, Tomas


Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe and evaluate a physiotherapy program targeted to reduce pain intensity and improve the daily functioning of diabetics with shoulder problems. It was hypothesized that patients receiving specific physiotherapy treatment improved more frequently and rapidly than diabetic patients followed up without specific physiotherapeutic intervention. Method: A pre-post treatment design was completed for a group of 10 subjects. The treatment protocol, also applied during the daily activities of the subjects, was aiming at reducing pain intensity and shoulder stiffness and improving impaired functioning in daily activities by muscle relaxation, light-load exercise and enhancing proper shoulder co-ordination. Results: The group analysis showed significant decrease of pain intensity level as well as improved shoulder functioning and sustained level of subject self-efficacy beliefs throughout the study period. Conclusions: The results suggest that it is possible to relieve shoulder pain intensity and improve daily activities of patients with diabetes-related shoulder problems by employing a physiotherapy program focusing on muscle relaxation, light-load exercise and on the enhancement of proper shoulder co-ordination in daily activities.


Diabetes shoulder; exercise; microvascular blood flow; self-efficacy

Published in

Disability and Rehabilitation
2014, Volume: 36, number: 7, pages: 556-562

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being

    UKÄ Subject classification


    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)