Author(s): Suvarna Ganvir*, Shyam D.Ganvir
To study the short & long term effect of iontophoresis by dexamethasone & transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for the relief of pain & improvement of functional capacity in patients with painful hemiplegic shoulder. In this double blinded, randomised, trial of 63 (2 patients discontinued the study) patients with painful hemiplegic shoulder were recruited from rehabilitation unit. They were randomly divided into two groups. One of the group received maximum twelve treatments of iontophoresis to the site of maximum tenderness on the anterior & lateral aspect of shoulder joint. Other group received transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to the region of shoulder joint. Stiffness and pain were recorded at the initial session; follow up at two, four & eight weeks. Data from 59 subjects were used in the study. After the treatment phase, all groups showed significant improvements in average pain, and functional ability. However, iontophoresis group showed a significantly greater improvement than the TENS intervention (p = 0.031). At the follow up, similar improvement was noted. Twelve treatments of dexamethasone iontophoresis combined with taping gave greater relief from morning pain than TENS group. For the best clinical results at four weeks, taping combined with dexamethasone is the preferred treatment option compared with taping & TENS.