The efficacy of oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for rotator cuff tendinopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on the efficacy of oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for rotator cuff tendinopathy. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHOD: A literature search was conducted in 4 databases for randomized controlled trials published until 05/2013, comparing the efficacy of oral anti-inflammatory drugs to any other intervention. Studies characteristics were extracted using a standardized form and the methodological quality was evaluated. Results were summarized qualitatively or quantitatively. RESULTS: The mean methodological score of the 12 included studies was 53.6 ± 8.8%. The majority of studies included acute cases and were underpowered to detect differences in adverse events. Compared to a placebo, oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were found to provide short-term pain relief (pooled mean difference: -2.69; 95% confidence interval: -1.96 to -3.41) but not function. Oral anti-inflammatory- drugs and corticosteroids injections have similar short-term efficacy in terms of pain reduction as well as in function (pooled standardized mean difference: 0.09; 95% confidence interval: -0.25 to 0.44). CONCLUSION: Low to moderate grade evidence exists regarding the efficacy of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for rotator cuff tendinopathy. Oral anti-inflammatory drugs are effective in reducing short-term pain but not function. In terms of pain and function, oral anti-inflammatory drugs in the short term are as effective as corticosteroid injections.


  • Boudreault, J
  • Desmeules, F
  • Roy, J
  • Dionne, C
  • Frémont, P
  • MacDermid, Joy

publication date

  • 2014