Review Article Open Access
Volume 1 | Issue 2 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.33696/diabetes.1.010

The Diabetic Shoulder – A Literature Review

  • 1School of Physical Therapy, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Hand and Upper Limb Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care London, London, Ontario, Canada
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Corresponding Author

Sana’a A. Alsubheen, salsubhe@uwo.ca

Received Date: October 23, 2019

Accepted Date: December 20, 2019


Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints of patients with diabetes that causes motion limitation, functional disability and decreased quality of life. There is higher prevalence of shoulder disorders in patients with diabetes, with adhesive capsulitis (AC) and rotator cuff (RC) tendinopathy being the most common disabling shoulder disorders. The pathophysiology that predisposes patients with diabetes for the development of AC or RC tendinopathy is not well-understood. However, the increased glycosylation of collagen fibers of the joint capsule, tendons and ligaments, and the diabetic microangiopathy might potentially explain the pathological process. Although some of the therapeutic interventions have been shown to be effective in managing shoulder disorders, several studies have reported higher shoulder pain, reduced mobility, poor functional outcomes, and a diminished response to treatment in patients with diabetes than patients without diabetes. In the current literature, there is lack of studies on the best treatment approach for managing shoulder disorders in patients with diabetes. Furthermore, the effect of diabetes on shoulder function after shoulder arthroplasty is not well investigated. Future research is required to examine the effectiveness of different surgical and non-surgical interventions on managing shoulder disorders in patients with diabetes. In addition, more research is required to investigate the impact of diabetes on shoulder recovery and factors predicting shoulder function following shoulder arthroplasty.


Diabetes, Shoulder disorders, Therapeutic interventions

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