Balance ability and postural stability among patients with painful shoulder disorders and healthy controls
- Equal contributors
1 Institute of Physiotherapy, ATOS-Clinic, Luisenstrasse 14, Heidelberg 69115, Germany
2 Department of Physiotherapy, SRH University Heidelberg, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Maassstrasse 26, Heidelberg 69123, Germany
3 Department of Surgery, Sports Medicine and Medical Information Technology, ATOS-Clinic, Bismarckstrasse 9-15, Heidelberg 69115, Germany
4 ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Technikumstrasse 71, Winterthur 8401, Switzerland
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:282 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-282Published: 2 October 2013
In therapeutic settings, patients with shoulder pain often exhibit deficient coordinative abilities in their trunk and lower extremities. The aim of the study was to investigate 1) if there is a connection between shoulder pain and deficits in balance ability and postural stability, 2) if pain intensity is related to balance ability and postural stability, and 3) if there is a connection between body mass index (BMI) and balance ability and postural stability.
In this case–control study, patients (n = 40) with pathological shoulder pain (> 4 months) were matched with a healthy controls (n = 40) and were compared with regard to their balance ability and postural stability. Outcome parameters were postural stability, balance ability and symmetry index which were measured using the S3-Check system. In addition, the influence of shoulder pain intensity and BMI on the outcome parameters was analysed.
Patients with shoulder pain showed significantly worse results in measurements of postural stability right/left (p < 0.01) and front/back (p < 0.01) as well as balance ability right/left (p = 0.01) and front/back (p < 0.01) compared to healthy controls. There were no significant group differences with regard to symmetry index. However, there was a significant (p < 0.01) symmetry shift towards the affected side within the shoulder pain group. There was no correlation between pain intensity and measurements of balance ability or postural stability. Likewise, no correlation between BMI and deficiencies in balance ability and postural stability was established.
Patients with pathological shoulder pain (> 4 months) have deficiencies in balance ability and postural stability; however the underlying mechanisms for this remain unclear. Neither pain intensity nor BMI influenced the outcome parameters. Patients with shoulder pain shift their weight to the affected side. Further research is needed to determine if balance training can improve rehabilitation results in patients with shoulder pathologies.