An investigation into brachial hanging as an intervention for shoulder health

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Zaza, Khaled
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Moran, Robert
Hach, Sylvia
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
shoulder injuries
brachial hanging
exercise therapy
Zaza, K. (2020). An investigation into brachial hanging as an intervention for shoulder health (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand
INTRODUCTION Shoulder disease is a widely prevalent condition characterised by pain and loss of functional movement, with substantial economic cost due to disability payments and absence from work. Despite its prevalence, it remains an area in need of clinical development. Shoulder disease aetiology is a subject of much debate in the research literature. This study investigates brachial hanging activity as a novel intervention for shoulder disease, with a theoretical basis rooted in an evolutionary medicine framework. METHODS The AB single system design was selected as the study methodology. Six participants were enrolled and performed the intervention activity three times per week over an eight-week period. Data collection occurred before, during and after the intervention phase. Outcomes were presented in graphs to support visual analysis. RESULTS Study data indicated meaningful change occurred in bilateral shoulder flexion for three participants. Meaningful change was demonstrated in bilateral external rotation for two participants. Participants feedback noted therapeutic stretch benefit to the shoulder complex, as well as various other structures such as the pectoralis muscle group, back muscle group, and spinal vertebrae in a way akin to traction therapy CONCLUSION The study was not able to confidently establish a causal relationship between participant changes and the intervention activity, primarily due to methodological limitations and lack of data points. Research findings returned some indication that the coracoid-biceps brachii short head relation may, with an upwardly directed stretch stimulus, be a therapeutic target conducive to shoulder health. Quantitative findings indicated there may be an intervention related effect on shoulder flexion and external rotation. Further research is needed in studies with more data points in both baseline and intervention phases, and with improved experimental controls.
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