Immediate effect of scapula-focused exercises performed with kinematic biofeedback on scapular kinematics in individuals with subacromial pain syndrome

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Abstract

Background:

Given the changes in the patterns of muscular activation and scapular movement in individuals with subacromial pain syndrome, the use of neuromuscular training has been considered in rehabilitation protocols. There is currently no evidence of the effects of the use of three-dimensional (3D) kinematic biofeedback on individuals with subacromial pain syndrome. This study aimed to determine the immediate effect of scapular motor control exercises using 3D kinematic biofeedback on the scapular kinematics, inter-segment coordination and pain of individuals with subacromial pain syndrome.

Method:

The kinematics of the scapulothoracic joint of 26 subjects with subacromial pain syndrome were assessed in the movement arm elevation and lowering in the sagittal plane before and after performance of three scapula-focused exercises using kinematic biofeedback. The individuals were familiarized with the selected exercises to acquire a greater scapular posterior tilt, while kinematic biofeedback, with visual and auditory stimuli, was used in real time. Scapular kinematics, pain, and subjective perception of exertion were the pre- and post-test measures.

Findings:

In the movement of arm elevation and lowering, no differences were found in scapular tilt and on coordination between the segments pre- and post-test and the effect size was considered small.

Interpretation:

Our results demonstrate that the performance of scapula-focused exercises using kinematic biofeedback does not cause immediate changes in the magnitude of scapular movement. However, inter-segmental coordination showed evidence of changes for scapular tilt in the lowering of the arm and internal rotation in the elevation and the lowering of the arm in individuals with subacromial pain syndrome.

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