Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Bursitis -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose The purpose of this case report is to describe the physical therapy interventions for a patient with adhesive capsulitis.

Case Description The patient was a 68-year-old right-handed male who presented with left shoulder pain and limited range of motion (ROM) following a fall 7 months prior. The patient had a past medical history of type II diabetes mellitus. The diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis was determined following radiographs, mechanism of injury, past medical history, and physical therapy examination and evaluation.

Intervention The patient was seen for a total of 8 physical therapy sessions over the span of 6 weeks. Interventions included a home exercise program, instruction in heat/ice use, mobilizations, therapeutic exercises, ROM, stretching, and upper body ergometer use. Outcome measures included ROM measurements, pain ratings, strength tests, the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI), and the Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS).

Outcomes Following 6 weeks of physical therapy intervention and home exercise program, the patient demonstrated increased shoulder ROM, decreased pain, and improved function based on the improved SPADI and PSFS scores

Discussion Rationale for treatment was based on textbook information for shoulder interventions and research articles. The treatment was altered based on patient's response.

Conclusion This case report is in concordance with the current research that shows strengthening, mobilizations, a home exercise program and stretching are appropriate combinations of interventions for individuals with adhesive capsulitis. This patient returned to his prior level of function following the above treatment regimen.