People with spinal cord injury (SCI) paraplegia who receive exercise treatment for shoulder pain experience significant increases in social participation and improvements in quality of life (QOL), say authors of an article in The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. However, they add, increases in social participation did not significantly affect improvements in QOL.
Fifty-eight participants with SCI paraplegia and shoulder pain were selected and randomized to either an exercise treatment or a control group. Participants in the treatment group participated in a 12-week, at-home exercise and movement optimization program designed to strengthen shoulder muscles and modify movements related to upper extremity weight bearing.
Participants filled out self-report measures at baseline, 12 weeks after the end of treatment, and at a 4-week follow-up. Outcomes were measured using the Wheelchair User's Shoulder Pain Index (WUSPI), the Social Interaction Inventory (SII), and the Subjective Quality of Life Scale.
From the baseline to the end of treatment, repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a significant interaction between WUSPI and SII scores, and between WUSPI and QOL scores.
APTA member Sara Mulroy, PT, PhD, coauthored this study.