The world confederation for Physical Therapy Congress: a shoulder update


Dorien Borms, Events / Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

From 10 to 13 May 2019, the WCPT congress took place in Geneva, Switzerland. It is one of the largest international congresses for physical therapy with over 170 scientific sessions and 500 new posters presented each day. A lot of information to take in … but let’s guide you through the shoulder related symposia…

“If you believe you will get better, you do!”

Jeremy Lewis chaired the shoulder session on Saturday and emphasized that psychosocial factors are maybe more important than physical factors. If you believe you will get better, you do; if you don’t, you don’t. Also, treatment should focus on clinical presentation instead of structural damage. Karin Ginn demonstrated that the active stiffness (muscle guarding) is a contributing factor to reduced shoulder range of motion in patients with frozen shoulder. Next up was our own blogger Ann Cools who discussed the right exercises for patients with rotator cuff related shoulder pain. Which exercises should we choose for appropriately loading and unloading the cuff? Jean-Sébastien Roy highlighted the link between chronic shoulder pain and reorganisation in the brain. Key message: “Education, sensorimotor training and graded exposure exercise therapy with minimal use of passive techniques”.

On Monday, Ghent University was again represented. First by my colleague Valentien Spanhove who focused on exercises in patients with shoulder instability such as multidirectional instability and the hypermobile type of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome or Hypermobile Spectrum Disorder. She looked at the effect of an external load during isometric exercises on glenohumeral translation. Secondly, I had the opportunity to present my research on kinetic chain involvement in overhead athletes with throwing related shoulder pain. Should we train the chain? Conclusion was that integrating the kinetic chain into shoulder rehabilitation should be based on the athletes’ individual preferences and needs since an isolated shoulder exercise approach shows similar short-term improvement of shoulder pain and function. Do you want to know more details on our studies? Check out the future posts!

Written by: Dorien Borms

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *