Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Bursitis -- therapy; Case Reports


Background & Purpose: Adhesive capsulitis is a musculoskeletal condition that has a disabling capability. The physiological changes that occur within the relevant connective tissue drive the intervention for functional improvement. There is often recovery, but it is not known whether a targeted intervention aimed at this type of patient is better than another regarding recovery. The purpose of this case report is to examine the multiple effects of a physical therapy intervention program with emphasis on improved function and quality of life.

Case Description: A single-case study of a 56-year-old female demonstrating the effects of a physical therapy program in treating shoulder adhesive capsulitis. She was unable to perform her daily routine of instructing Chinese exercise dance, so treatment involved hot packs, stretching, joint mobilization, and strengthening.

Intervention: Intervention included hot packs, ultrasound, scapular stability training, glenohumeral stability training, passive range of motion, active range of motion, soft tissue and joint mobilization. The patient was seen two or three times per week for five weeks.

Outcomes: The patient achieved substantial increases in shoulder range of motion, shoulder strength and overall improvements in function and activities of daily living. Because of this progress, the patient was able to be discharged from physical therapy and return to independent living at home within 4 weeks.

Discussion: This patient experienced significant gains in motion following physical therapy intervention. More research into intervention for adhesive capsulitis is needed to establish a gold standard.