Tissue irritability and impairment-based approach to physical therapy for a female with rotator cuff tendinopathy: a case study

A patient with right rotator cuff tendinopathy was treated for 5 sessions over 5 weeks at an outpatient physical therapy clinic. Treatment was provided by a student physical therapist under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Tests and measures that were used to monitor changes were the following: goniometry, numeric pain rating scale, manual muscle tests, observation, palpation, QuickDASH, and patient report. The main goal for the patient was to be able to perform overhead Crossfit exercises with a 45-pound barbell without shoulder symptoms. Tissue irritability and impairments found guided the intensity and type of treatments. Interventions included manual therapy and therapeutic exercise. The patient improved in shoulder pain, strength, tenderness, and function. The patient was discharged with an individualized home exercise program.