A case series of suprascapular nerve block (with an historical comparator) for shoulder pain in motor neurone disease

E. Michael Shanahan, Karen Glaezter, Tiffany Gill, Catherine Hill, Scott Graf, Peter Allcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Shoulder pain is a distressing but under-reported and poorly managed symptom in people with motor neurone disease. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of suprascapular nerve block for the management of shoulder pain in patients with motor neurone disease. Methods: A total of 27 patients with motor neurone disease and shoulder pain were offered a suprascapular nerve block. Ten of these patients had bilateral shoulder pain and both were injected, making a total of 37 shoulders. The patients were followed up for a total of 3 months, or until death. Shoulder pain was measured using the pain scale (out of 100) of the shoulder pain and disability index and compared with baseline scores and a placebo control group from an earlier study using the same methodology (ACTRN12619000353190). Results: Following the nerve block there was a significant improvement of pain scores from baseline (58.4) at week 1 (20.8, p < 0.000), week 6 (17.6, p < 0.000) and week 12 (30.4, p = 0.001) and a significant improvement compared with the control group across each time interval. Conclusion: Suprascapular nerve block is a safe, effective therapy for patients with chronic shoulder pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1133
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Shoulder pain
  • case series
  • motor neurone disease
  • suprascapular nerve block

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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