Study Design: Repeated measures, randomized comparison of two treatment groups.

Objective: To compare effectiveness of two manual therapy procedures, posterior and anterior glide joint mobilization, for improving external rotation in patients with adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.

Background: Joint mobilization procedures are often used by physical therapists to treat the accessory motion impairments associated with shoulder adhesive capsulitis. However opinions differ regarding the value of posterior versus anterior glide mobilization. especially for improving external rotation.

Methods and Measures: Subjects with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis exhibiting a specific external rotation range deficit, were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups. For six sessions, all subjects received ultrasound, joint mobilization, and upper body ergometer exercise. Subjects in Group 1 were treated with posterior glide mobilizations and subjects in Group 2 were treated with anterior glide mobilizations. External rotation range was measured initially and after each treatment session and compared within and between groups. Data were analyzed using repeated measures factorial ANOVA and independent t-tests.

Results: Following six treatment sessions, subjects who received posterior glide mobilizations showed a statistically significant improvement (p< .001) in external rotation range of 31.2° whereas subjects receiving anterior glide mobilizations showed only a mean improvement of 3.0° (p = .68).

Conclusions: Posterior glide joint mobilization was significantly better than anterior glide joint mobilization for increasing external rotation range in just six treatment sessions for subjects with idiopathic adhesive capsulitis with a specific ROM deficit.

LLU Discipline

Physical Therapy


Physical Therapy Sciences


School of Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Grenith Zimmerman

Second Advisor

Jospeh Godges

Third Advisor

Lee Ounanian

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Shoulder -- injuries; Shoulder Joint -- injuries; Joint Diseases; Physical Therapy -- methods.



Page Count

v; 60

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives