A randomised controlled feasibility study investigating the use of eccentric and concentric strengthening exercises in the treatment of rotator cuff tendinopathy.
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OBJECTIVES: To conduct a feasibility study to compare concentric and eccentric rotator cuff strengthening exercises for rotator cuff tendinopathy. METHODS: A total of 11 patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy who were on the waiting list for arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery were randomised to perform eccentric rotator cuff strengthening exercises, concentric strengthening exercises or no exercises. Patients were evaluated in terms of levels of pain and function using the Oxford Shoulder Score and a Visual Analogue Scale initially, at 4 weeks and at 8 weeks. RESULTS: The study design was found to be acceptable to patients and achieved a high level of 86% compliance. The drop-out rate was 0%. Two patients performing eccentric strengthening exercises improved sufficiently to cancel their planned surgery. CONCLUSION: Further research in this area is recommended. The study design was feasible and power calculations have been conducted to aid future research planning.