Developing a better approach to assess and treat shoulder pain

Disease - Shoulder pain

Lead applicant - Professor Danielle van der Windt

Organisation - Keele University

Type of grant - Special Strategic Award

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £499,215

Start date - 1 January 2018

Reference - 21948

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

The aims of this research are to develop a better way to assess the cause of shoulder pain and find the most appropriate treatment based on an individual’s characteristics. This is to make sure people do not have unnecessary surgery and can find a treatment that is most likely to work for them.

Why is this research important?

Shoulder problems affect 20% of adults and are often very painful, affecting sleep, work, and everyday life. There is no evidence that surgery provides better results than non-surgical treatments, yet seven times more people are having surgery compared with 10 years ago.

Using results from existing studies, different characteristics will be identified that suggest a person is more likely to benefit from a certain treatment, for example, exercise, shoulder injection or surgery. A large study will also be carried out in which people receiving treatment for shoulder pain will fill in six questionnaires over three years to provide information on long-term outcomes of a treatment. The information gathered from both these activities will be used to develop a screening and decision tool to help clinicians give better advice on treatments. Once the tool has been developed a trial will assess whether it leads to better outcomes for people with shoulder pain.

How will the findings benefit patients?

By improving the targeting of treatment options, people with shoulder pain will receive advice and treatment which is more likely to work for them. This could reduce long-term pain, disability and work loss caused by shoulder pain.