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Shoulder disorders and rehabilitation

Research profile

In New Zealand, the societal and economic burden of musculoskeletal disorders is very high. Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal complaint, impacts on daily-living and occupational activities and can have a slow recovery. The one-month prevalence is 34%. From 2005 to 2013, the direct cost of physiotherapy interventions for shoulder injuries was $134 million ($14 million/year).

Standard exercise therapy is the first approach for the management of shoulder pain, and has moderate to strong effect on pain and function. Despite that, shoulder pain has slow recovery and only 50% of new episodes presenting full recovery within 6 months. New strategies are needed to improve the treatment effects, speed of recovery, and recurrence rates of shoulder pain.

This research programme translates findings from laboratory-based research into clinical trials. The ultimate aim of this research programme is to design and test novel shoulder rehabilitation programme, and improve the effectiveness of shoulder rehabilitation, both within New Zealand and internationally.

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Research interests

  • Clinical trials
  • Process evaluation of clinical trials
  • Systematic reviews
  • Implementation science: translating findings into healthcare services
  • Clinical biomechanics
  • Physiotherapists experiences of treating rotator cuff
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Publications

Ribeiro, D. C., Spiers, K., Thomas, L., Leilua, K., Wilkes, M., Norton, S., & Lamb, S. E. (2021). Monitoring, implementation and reporting of interventions in a selection of trials assessing exercise therapy for the management of shoulder subacromial pain: A cross-sectional investigation. BMJ Open, 11, e044462. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044462

Jafarian Tangrood, Z., Sole, G., & Ribeiro, D. C. (2020). Between-day reliability of scapular locator for measuring scapular position during arm elevation in asymptomatic participants. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 43(4), 276-283. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2019.03.014

Jafarian Tangrood, Z., Sole, G., & Ribeiro, D. C. (2020). Is there an association between changes in pain or function with changes in scapular dyskinesis: A prospective cohort study. Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, 48, 102172. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2020.102172

Patterson, A., Dickerson, C. R., & Ribeiro, D. C. (2020). The effect of shoulder mobilization on scapular and shoulder muscle activity during resisted shoulder abduction: A crossover study of asymptomatic individuals. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 43(8), 832-844. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2019.11.006

de Castro, M. P., Fonseca, P., Morais, S. T., Borgonovo-Santos, M., Coelho, E. F. C., Ribeiro, D. C., & Vilas-Boas, J. P. (2019). Functional shoulder ratios with high velocities of shoulder internal rotation are most sensitive to determine shoulder rotation torque imbalance: A cross-sectional study with elite handball players and controls. Sports Biomechanics, 18(1), 39-50. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2017.1380222

Ribeiro, D. C., Jafarian Tangrood, Z., Sole, G., & Abbott, J. H. (2019). Effectiveness of a tailored rehabilitation versus standard strengthening programme for patients with shoulder pain: A protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial (the Otago MASTER trial). BMJ Open, 9(7), e028261. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028261

Castro, M.P.; Fonseca, P.; Tribuzi, S.; dos Santos, M.; Coelho, E.F.; Ribeiro, D.C.; Vilas-Boas, J.P. (2019) Functional shoulder ratios with high velocities of shoulder internal rotation are most sensitive to determine shoulder rotation torque imbalance: a cross-sectional study with elite handball players and controls. Sports Biomechanics, 2019 Feb;18(1):39-50.

Sole, G.; Mącznik, A.K.; Ribeiro, D.C.; Jaykaran, P.; Wassinger, C. (2019) Perspectives of participants with rotator cuff-related pain to a neuroscience-informed pain education session: an exploratory mixed method study. Disability and Rehabilitation (accepted).

Ho, A.J.; Cudlip, A.C.; Ribeiro, D.C.; Dickerson, C.R. (2019) Examining upper extremity muscle demand during selected push-up variants. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 44, 165-172.

Ribeiro, D.C.; Belgrave, A; Naden, A.; Fang, H.; Matthews, P.; Parsthottam, S. (2018). The prevalence of myofascial trigger points in neck and shoulder-related disorders: a systematic review of the literature. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 19, 252.

Tangrood, Z.J.; Gisselman, A.S.; Sole, G.; Ribeiro, D.C. (2018) Clinical course of pain and disability in patients with subacromial shoulder pain: a systematic review protocol. BMJ Open, 8:e019393. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019393.

For publications prior to 2017 see Daniel Ribeiro profile. 

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Conference presentations

Ribeiro, D.C.; Sole, G; Shemmell, J.; Vicenzino, B. (2018). The initial effects on shoulder muscle activity of shoulder mobilization with movement during shoulder abduction: a repeated-measures study on patients with pain-limited shoulder elevation. Oral presentation, Proceedings of the XXII Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology & Kinesiology (ISEK), (pp. 245).

Shemmell, J.; Stinear, J.; MacKinnon, C.; Ribeiro, D.C.; Falling, C. (2018). Multiple descending pathways may contribute to the response of the gastrocnemius to transcranial magnetic stimulation. Oral presentation, Proceedings of the XXII Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology & Kinesiology (ISEK), (pp. 7).

For presentations prior to 2018 see Daniel Ribeiro profile

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Research funding

Manual Therapy for Shoulder Mobilisation
Stanley Paris Fellowship (2021)

Process evaluation of trials: maximising the potential for implementation
Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship (2018)

Maurice Phyllis & Paykel Trust – Travel Award (2017)
Amount: $1,500
Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro

The efficacy of tailored rehabilitation for patients with shoulder pain: a feasibility randomized controlled trial
HRC Feasibility Trial (2017)
Amount: $ 213,067
Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro
Co-investigators: Assoc. Prof. J Haxby Abbott, Dr Gisela Sole

Exploring the effects shoulder mobilization on scapular and shoulder muscle activities
University of Otago Research Grant (2016)
Amount: $ 20,344
Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro
Co-investigators: Assoc. Prof. Clark R Dickerson

The efficacy of tailored rehabilitation for patients with shoulder pain: a feasibility randomized controlled trial
Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) Scholarship Trust Fund (2016)
Amount: $ 4,655
Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro
Co-investigators: Assoc. Prof. J Haxby Abbott, Dr Gisela Sole

Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust – Equipment Grant (2015)
Amount: $ 6,000
Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro

Royal Society of New Zealand - James G. Hay Travel Award (2015)
Amount: $2,000
Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro

Maurice Phyllis & Paykel Trust – Travel Award (2015)
Amount: $1,000
Principal Investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro

Health Sciences summer research scholarship – Otago Medical Research Foundation (2014)
The initial effects of shoulder mobilization on shoulder muscle activity: a repeated-measures study in asymptomatic shoulders
Amount: $ 4,000
Supervisor: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro

Jack Thomson, Otago Medical Research Foundation (2014)
Shoulder muscle activity: a study on patients with pain-limited shoulder elevation
Amount: $24,455
Principal investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro
Co-Investigators: Dr Gisela Sole, Prof. Bill Vicenzino

University of Otago Research Grant Amount (2014)
Can we optimize rotator cuff muscle activity? Exploring the effects of shoulder exercises on rotator cuff muscle control
Amount: $ 18,826
Principal investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro
Co-Investigators: Dr Gisela Sole, Dr Jonathan Shemmell

Jack Thomson, Otago Medical Research Foundation (2013)
Can we optimize rotator cuff muscle activity? Exploring the effects of shoulder exercises on rotator cuff muscle control.
Amount: $ 10,127
Principal investigator: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro
Co-Investigators: Dr Gisela Sole

Health Sciences summer research scholarship – Otago Medical Research Foundation (2013)
Shoulder muscle activity during an innovative shoulder rehabilitation exercise
Amount: $ 4,000
Supervisor: Dr Daniel Cury Ribeiro

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Research students

Current

Tim Wang (PhD Candidate)
Tom Fahey (Honours 2022)

Past

Zohreh Jafarian (PhD 2021)
Tom Fahey, 3rd year Summer Studentship
Olivia Whelan-Henderson, 4th year Honours Student
Abbey Patterson (Honours student – 2018)
Olivia de Ronde (Summer student – 2018)
Michelle Louise Hall (Master of Physiotherapy student – 2016)
Jun Kato (Master of Manipulative Physiotherapy student - 2015)
Ramu Venkat (Master of Manipulative Physiotherapy student - 2015)
Ashley Day (Health Sciences summer research scholarship awardee - 2014)
Carrie Falling (Health Sciences summer research scholarship awardee - 2013)

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Research Team

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor Daniel Ribeiro

Research collaborators

Prof J Haxby Abbott (University of Otago)
A/P Gisela Sole (University of Otago)
Prof Bill Vicenzino (The University of Queensland – Australia)
Prof Clark Dickerson (University of Waterloo – Canada)
Prof Sallie Lamb (University of Oxford)
Dr Jon Shemmell (University of Wollongong)
Dr Marcelo Peduzzi de Castro (UDESC - Brazil)
Prof Jefferson Loss (UFRGS – Brazil)
Dr Joelly Toledo (UniRitter – Brazil)
Dr Meredith Perry (CHARR, Otago)
Prof Arianne Verhagen (UTS)


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Further information

To find out more about this study please email the Project leader, Dr Dan Ribeiro daniel.ribeiro@otago.ac.nz

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