PNF and Movement 2021; 19(3): 401-412
The Effect of the Lower Trapezius Strengthening Exercise using PNF on Pain, Range of Motion, and Disability in Patients with Frozen Shoulder
Tae-Woo Kang, P.T., Ph.D.⋅Gui-Bin Song, P.T., Ph.D.1⋅Beom-Ryong Kim, P.T., Ph.D.2†
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health and Welfare, Woosuk University
1Department of Physical Therapy, PT Rehabilitation and Education Center
2Department of Physical Therapy, Design Hospital
Correspondence to: Beom-Ryong Kim (
Received: November 23, 2021; Revised: December 4, 2021; Accepted: December 13, 2021; Published online: December 31, 2021.
© Korea Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Association. All rights reserved.

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Purpose: The study aimed to determine the effect of the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) lower trapezius muscle strengthening exercise on pain, shoulder range of motion, and shoulder pain and disability index (SPADI) in patients with frozen shoulder.
Methods: Following baseline measurements, 30 subjects (n=30) with frozen shoulder were randomized into two groups: the PNF group (n=15), which received PNF strength training of the lower trapezius muscles, and the control group (n=15), which received gentle palpation of the skin. Each group participated in the intervention for 30 minutes, three times per week, for six weeks. The visual analogue scales for pain, range of motion, and SPADI of both groups were recorded at both pre- and post-intervention. Paired t-tests were used to determine significant changes in the post-intervention period compared with pre-intervention, and independent t-tests were used to analyze differences in the dependent variables between the two groups.
Results: After the six-week intervention, both groups experienced significantly decreased pain and SPADI (p < 0 . 05) and significantly increased shoulder flexion, abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation range of motion (p < 0. 05). The PNF group that received the PNF strength exercise of the lower trapezius muscles showed greater improvements in pain and range of motion than those of the control group (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: These results suggest that the PNF lower trapezius strengthening exercise reduces shoulder pain and disability levels and enhances shoulder range of motion in patients with frozen shoulder.
Keywords: Frozen shoulder, Range of motion, Strengthening exercise, Trapezius

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