Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy

Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2157-7595

+44 7868 792050

Perspective - (2022)Volume 12, Issue 4

Shoulder Pain and Regional Interdependence: Contributions of the Cervicothoracic Spine

Paul Mintken*
*Correspondence: Paul Mintken, Department of Physical Therapy Program, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado, USA, Email:

Author info »


Shoulder pain is common, with a reported prevalence between 20- 33%. Additionally, the incidence of shoulder pain in the general population appears to be increasing. The prognosis for patients with a new onset of shoulder pain is generally poor, with recovery rates of only 49-59% at an 18-month follow-up. Recurrence rates are also high. In the year 2000, the direct costs for the treatment of shoulder pain in the United States topped $7 billion; the total costs for managing shoulder pain are attributable to individuals with persistent or recurrent symptoms. Shoulder pain can be challenging for both patients and health care providers. On nonspecific shoulder pain reported that 77% were diagnosed with more than one shoulder problem. Many shoulder pathologies present with similar examination findings, but vary widely in their outcomes and require different intervention approaches. Specific diagnosis and classification can be difficult, they only moderate agreement on the classification of shoulder disorders. Given that shoulder pain is difficult to accurately diagnose.“The concept that seemingly unrelated impairments in a remote anatomical region may contribute to, or be associated with, the patient’s primary complaint.” Up to 40% of patients with shoulder pain present with dysfunction in the cervicothoracic spine and ribs, they concluded that dysfunction in these regions may represent an intrinsic cause of shoulder pain. Impairments of the cervicothoracic spine and ribs triple the risk of developing neck and shoulder disorders and may worsen prognosis. Current evidence suggests that the inclusion of manual therapy interventions improves outcomes in the treatment of individuals with shoulder pain. Several studies have reported improved outcomes in patients with shoulder pain following manual therapy directed solely at the cervicothoracic spine. These findings suggest that a subgroup of individuals with shoulder pain may exist who will respond dramatically to this regional interdependence approach.

We conducted a prospective, cohort study of 80 consecutive patients with non-specific shoulder pain. Subjects completed a series of self-report measures and received a detailed standardized history and physical examination consisting of a variety of tests and measures commonly used to classify individuals with shoulder pain. All subjects received a standardized treatment regimen consisting of cervicothoracic spine manual therapy, 2 general cervical mobility exercises, and advice to maintain usual activity within the limits of pain. Subjects were classified as having experienced a successful outcome based on a well-accepted reference standard of success, the patientreported Global Rating of Change. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood ratios were calculated for all potential predictor variables. Univariate techniques and step-wise logistic regression were used to determine the most parsimonious set of variables for prediction of treatment success. Variables retained in the regression model were used to develop a multivariate set of prognostic variables to identify patients with shoulder pain likely to benefit from manual therapy to the cervicothoracic spine.


If 3 of 5 variables were present (positive LR=5.3, 95% CI=1.7- 16.0) the likelihood of success increased to 89%. All individuals that presented with 4 or 5 of the variables had a positive outcome (+LR ∞, post-test probability 100%). As this was a preliminary study without a control group, caution must be applied in interpreting these prognostic variables as they may simply identify patients who would improve with time regardless of intervention, or they may be statistical quirks.

Author Info

Paul Mintken*
Department of Physical Therapy Program, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado, USA

Citation: Mintken P (2022) Shoulder Pain and Regional Interdependence: Contributions of the Cervicothoracic Spine. J Yoga Phys Ther. 12:369

Received: 05-Dec-2022, Manuscript No. JYPT-23-29316; Editor assigned: 07-Dec-2022, Pre QC No. JYPT-23-29316 (PQ); Reviewed: 21-Dec-2022, QC No. JYPT-23-29316; Revised: 28-Dec-2022, Manuscript No. JYPT-23-29316 (R); Published: 04-Jan-2023 , DOI: 10.35248/2157-7595.22.12.369

Copyright: © 2022 Mintken P. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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