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Physical therapy interventions used to treat individuals with biceps tendinopathy: a scoping review

Braz J Phys Ther. 2023 Dec 27;28(1):100586. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2023.100586. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Shoulder pain related to pathology of the long head of the biceps tendon (LHBT) can be debilitating. Chronic LHBT tendinopathy is a common condition that is difficult to treat. Little consensus exists regarding the optimal approach to treating individuals with LHBT tendinopathy.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically scope the literature to identify and present the available information regarding physical therapist interventions used for the management of individuals with LHBT tendinopathy including types of interventions used or recommended.

METHODS: A scoping review of physical therapist interventions used to treat LHBT was conducted of the CINAHL, Embase, Medline, and SportDiscus databases. Full text records reporting physical therapist-based interventions in individuals with proximal LHBT pathology were included. Articles not written in English were excluded.

RESULTS: Of the 4059 records identified, 14 articles met the inclusion criteria. Interventions used to treat LHBT tendinopathy identified in quantitative studies included: extracorporeal shock wave therapy, polarized light, ultrasound, low-level laser, iontophoresis, general exercise, eccentric training, stretching, dry needling, and joint mobilization. Interventions described in literature reviews, clinical commentaries, and a Delphi study included: therapeutic modalities, manual therapy, exercise, dry needling, and patient education.

CONCLUSION: This scoping review reported interventions primarily based on therapeutic modalities in quantitative studies while literature reviews, clinical commentaries, and a Delphi study described the addition of manual therapy, patient education, exercise, and dry needling. Overall, there is a dearth of evidence detailing the conservative management of LHBT tendinopathy.

PMID:38219522 | DOI:10.1016/j.bjpt.2023.100586


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