Effects of Eccentric Versus Concentric Strengthening in Patients With Subacromial Pain Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Karabay D., YEŞİLYAPRAK S. S., ERDURAN M., Ozcan C.

Sports Health, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/19417381241236817
  • Journal Name: Sports Health
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, MEDLINE, SportDiscus
  • Keywords: proprioception, rehabilitation, resistance training, shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Subacromial pain syndrome (SPS) is the most common cause of shoulder pain. Therapeutic exercise is the first-line treatment for SPS; however, the ideal exercise type remains unclear. Here, we compared the effects of eccentric and concentric strengthening in patients with SPS. Hypothesis: Adding isolated eccentric strengthening to a multimodal physiotherapy program (MPP) would lead to greater improvements in outcomes compared with either MPP alone or adding isolated concentric strengthening to the MPP. Study Design: Randomized controlled trial. Level of Evidence: Level 2. Methods: A total of 45 patients were randomized to eccentric strengthening (ESG), concentric strengthening (CSG), and control (CG) groups; all groups received the MPP. The strengthening groups also performed group-specific strengthening. Shoulder pain, abduction and external rotation (ER) strength, joint position sense (JPS), the Constant-Murley Score (CMS), and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score were collected at baseline, after 12 weeks of treatment, and at week 24. Results: For CMS, ESG exhibited a greater, but not clinically meaningful, improvement than CSG and CG (P < 0.05). Eccentric abduction strength increased in ESG compared with CG. From baseline to follow-up, abduction strength increased in ESG compared with CSG and CG. Eccentric abduction strength increased in CSG compared with CG. JPS at abduction improved in the ESG compared with CG. Other between-group comparisons were not significant (P > 0.05). Conclusion: In SPS, eccentric strengthening provided added benefits, improving shoulder abduction strength and JPS at abduction, and was superior to concentric strengthening for improving shoulder abduction strength. Neither strengthening approach had an additional effect on shoulder function, pain, ER strength, or rotational JPS. Clinical Relevance: Clinicians could implement eccentric strengthening as a motor control retraining for strength and proprioception gain rather than for pain relief and reducing disability.