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NEWS ITEMS - News-2014

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Motor imagery and its effects for the treatment of shoulder impingement

Motor imagery activates brain circuitries that largely overlap with those used for body movement (
Motor imagery is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of a variety of medical problems, including stroke, complex regional pain syndrome and phantom limb pain. A recent study from French researchers has shown that motor imagery has its place in the treatment of stage II shoulder impingement syndrome as well.

In their well-designed study, Nady Hoyek ( and colleagues examined the added value of motor imagery to a standard physiotherapy program (comprising of ultrasound, exercise therapy, mobilisations and cryotherapy). The motor imagery exercises included four arm movements that were repeated 10 times, totalling 15 minutes of motor imagery exercise per session. There were 3 treatment sessions per week, and 10 sessions for the complete treatment program.

The added value of motor imagery for the treatment of stage II shoulder impingement syndrome was substantiated by the larger improvement in shoulder joint mobility and more pronounced decrease in self-reported pain severity. Basically, the study shows that the effects of motor imagery for shoulder impingement are real, and not imagined.
Reference and further reading:

Jo Nijs

2014 � Pain in Motion