Painful Shoulder Movements are NOT Related to Rotator Cuff Findings on MRI
- RRS Education
Chronic shoulder pain often interferes with daily activities that involve arm movements and is commonly diagnosed as subacromial pain syndrome with rotator cuff tendinopathy or tear. Clinical decisions are often based on a patient’s reports of pain with movement, considering patterns of movement that provoke the pain or by performing provocative movements to determine the mechanical causes of the pain.
General measures of shoulder pain are poorly correlated with radiological imaging and the connection between tissue damage and movement-related shoulder pain has not been properly investigated. Nevertheless, many clinicians consider that more intense pain or pain with more shoulder movements are accurate measures of more tissue damage to the rotator cuff tendons. Unfortunately, studies thus far have relied on pain-intensity measures that do not actually measure the variability of shoulder pain during life’s daily activities!
The aim of this study was to determine whether movement-related pain that occurs across a wider variety of activities was associated with the number or severity of rotator cuff radiological findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The authors hypothesized that such pain would not be associated with the number or severity of rotator cuff MRI findings.
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Painful Shoulder Movements are NOT Related to Rotator Cuff Findings on MRI”
This paper was published in Pain Reports (2021) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Shoulder, Diagnostic Imaging and the 2022 Archive.