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Positional Stretching of the Coracohumeral Ligament on a Patient with Adhesive Capsulitis: A Case Report

By Jose Orlando Ruiz


Idiopathic frozen shoulder is a common medical diagnosis for patients seeking physical therapy. Radiographic and surgical evidence exists that describes the coracohumeral ligament (CHL) as a major contributor to lack of external rotation in patients diagnosed with frozen shoulder. No stretching techniques targeting the anatomical fiber orientation of the CHL have been reported in the literature. This single-patient case-report describes the use of a positional stretching technique of the CHL on a 51-year-old female diagnosed with phase I frozen shoulder. The patient completed 8 in-office visits and 17 home exercise program sessions of positional CHL stretching combined with a simple volitional rotator cuff exercise program in a 4-week period. The patient's Disabilities of the Arm Shoulder and hand (DASH) scores improved from 65 to 36 and Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) scores improved from 72 to 8 and passive external rotation from 20° to 71°. While a cause-and-effect relationship cannot be inferred from a single case, this report may foster further investigation regarding the role of the CHL in patients with stage-I and stage-II frozen shoulder as well as therapeutic strategies to help reduce loss of mobility and function

Topics: Article
Publisher: Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Inc.
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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