Written by Dr Chris Littlewood | @PCSciences | keele.ac.uk/pchs | Published Thursday 25th May 2017
On Monday 15th May the Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences hosted a seminar attended by 70 clinicians and academics from across the UK. The aim of the seminar was to develop networks and also to share research work and ideas in relation to shoulder pain.
Shoulder pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal pain problems with up to one in four people suffering at any one time. Shoulder pain can have a significant impact on quality of life including an effect on work, hobbies and sleep. It has been suggested that four out of every ten people who suffer with shoulder pain will continue to experience problems one year later. And, for those people who do recover, a recurrent episode of shoulder pain is likely. So, musculoskeletal shoulder pain is clearly not a short-lasting condition.
Dr. Chris Littlewood opened the event and welcomed guests before Professor Nadine Foster described the shoulder pain research that had been undertaken here at Keele to date. This research includes the recently completed SUPPORT trial that compared steroid injections delivered with or without guidance of ultrasound and physiotherapist-led exercise or exercise guided by an information sheet. The results of this topical and interesting trial will be reported shortly, but the attendants were privy to these findings on the day.
Dr. Opeyemi Babatunde then described an extensive systematic review of the research evidence relating to treatments for shoulder pain before Dr. Emma Salt, a Consultant Physiotherapist who has recently completed a research internship here at Keele described an approach to the treatment of persistent shoulder pain that she is in the process of evaluating.
Following a networking break over coffee, Dr. Majid Artus presented findings from a survey of General Practitioner’s (GPs) that helps us understand how GPs approach diagnosis and treatment of people with shoulder pain. Recognising the current uncertainty there is in relation to which treatments work best for which patients, Cliona McRobert, a physiotherapist and post-graduate student here at Keele, then described the findings from her PhD to date. Professor Danielle van der Windt then described an exciting new programme of research that is about to begin which will help us to understand ways that we can better target our treatments with the aim of helping our patients recover from shoulder pain.
Professor van der Windt then closed the event by discussing the journey that research in relation to shoulder pain has taken so far and recognised the long path ahead. The event was well received by all those in attendance, which has stimulated ideas to plan for an annual event to share ideas and maintain these networks.