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Background: A frozen shoulder is a condition characterized by pain and limitation of movement in the shoulder joint. Physical therapy is one form of treatment that can be used but combining it with a suprascapular nerve block or steroid injection can speed up recovery. This study compares the effectiveness of these two treatments for the condition.
Methods: A double-blinded randomized control trial was run for 12 months at DHQ Teaching Hospital Rawalpindi, Pakistan compared the effectiveness of SSNB and IAS for frozen shoulder in 40 patients, with 20 in each group. Patients were advised physiotherapy afterward. Moreover, pain and disability scores were calculated by SPADI at 2,4,8 and 12 weeks after administering the respective therapy.
Results: Pain score in the SSNB group improved from 28.45 to 11.65 at 12-week intervals against an improvement from 29.2 to 16.85 in the IAS group. Moreover, the disability score improved from 40.35 to 14.6 at 12 weeks in the SSNB group against an improvement from 41.55 to 21.85 in the IAS group. Compared to the IAS group, the SSNB group had a lower mean of pain and disability scores at weeks 2,4,8 and 12 (p<0.05). Age and gender showed no significant correlations (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Suprascapular nerve block in conjunct with physiotherapy is more effective than intra-articular steroid injection for pain and disability in frozen shoulder, regardless of age and gender. Long-term effectiveness remains to be studied.
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