Kinematics of the contralateral and ipsilateral shoulder: A possible relationship with post-stroke shoulder pain

Martijn Niessen*, Thomas Janssen, Carel Meskers, Peter Koppe, Manin Konijnenbelt, Dirk Jan Veeger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Post-stroke shoulder pain is a common phenomenon in hemiplegia and impedes rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to identify a possible relationship between post-stroke shoulder pain, scapula resting position and shoulder motion. Methods: Shoulder kinematics of 27 patients after stroke (17 men) were compared with 10 healthy age-matched control subjects. Using an electromagnetic tracking device, the kinematics of both the contralateral and ipsilateral (i.e. paretic and non-paretic) arm during active and passive abduction and forward flexion were measured and expressed in Euler angles. Results: Scapular lateral rotation relative to the thorax was increased in patients with post-stroke shoulder pain compared with both patients without post-stroke shoulder pain and control subjects at rest as well as during arm abduction and forward flexion. Additionally, glenohumeral elevation was decreased in patients with post-stroke shoulder pain during passive abduction. No differences were found regarding scapula position (displacement relative to the thorax). Conclusion: In patients with post-stroke shoulder pain a particular kinematical shoulder pattern was established, characterized by enhanced scapular lateral rotation and diminished glenohumeral mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-486
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008

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