Objective: To systematically review the effects of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for shoulder pain after stroke.
Data sources: A systematic review of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, CNKI, SinoMed, WanFang Data, VIP, and ClinicalTrials.gov from the establishment of the database to 20 December 2022 was carried out.
Review methods: The bibliography was screened to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that applied extracorporeal shock waves to shoulder pain after stroke. Two researchers independently searched, screened, and extracted data from each database according to the search strategy and resolved any disagreements through negotiation.
Results: A total of 18 RCTs were included (1248 individuals). Meta-analysis showed that the ESWT group had better visual analogue scale (VAS) scores (mean difference (MD) = – 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) [ – 1.43, – 0.95], p < 0.00001), Fugl-Meyer assessment upper extremity scale (FMA-UE) scores (MD = 6.25, 95% CI [4.64, 7.87], p < 0.00001), active range of motion (AROM) assessment (MD = 11.28, 95% CI [5.26, 17.30], p = 0.0002), and functional comprehensive assessment (FCA) scores (MD = 5.47, 95% CI [4.45, 6.49], p < 0.00001) comparative to the control group; no statistical significance in Constant-Murley score (CMS) (MD = 0.98, 95% CI [ – 11.05, 13.02], p = 0.87) and descriptive analysis of modified Barthel Index (MBI) only.
Conclusion: The ESWT improves pain levels, motor function, active mobility, comprehensive function of shoulder, and activities of daily living (ADL) better than conventional treatment in patients with shoulder pain after stroke.
Keywords: ESWT; Shoulder pain; extracorporeal shock wave therapy; randomized controlled trial; stroke.