A team of NDORMS researchers, experienced physiotherapists and patient representatives got together for a one day meeting in Oxford to develop the physiotherapy exercise intervention for a recently funded NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme trial, called GRASP (Getting it Right: Addressing Shoulder Pain). GRASP is looking at the best treatments for shoulder pain in patients with a rotator cuff disorder.
Shoulder pain is very common and rotator cuff disorders are the most common type of shoulder pain, accounting for 70% of all new cases. Common treatments include advice, rest, painkillers, physiotherapy and steroid injections. Although used quite often, the effectiveness of physiotherapy is unclear. There is uncertainty about which techniques are most effective, how they should be delivered and whether an injection, in addition to exercise, may be of more benefit.
We have been commissioned by the NIHR HTA Programme (15/26/06) to conduct a randomised trial that aims to give a definitive answer to find the best treatments for rotator cuff disorders in primary care.
The GRASP trial is due to start in October 2016 and we plan to recruit 704 participants with a new episode of shoulder pain, attributable to a rotator cuff disorder, across at least eight musculoskeletal services and their related physiotherapy services in the UK. The study is being led by Professor Sallie Lamb and Dr Sally Hopewell.