Hemiplegic shoulder pain is common in stroke survivors, developing in up to 54% of patients. The underlying mechanisms include soft tissue lesions, impaired motor function and central nervous system-related phenomena. Hemiplegic shoulder pain has many underlying causes and is challenging to manage, requiring a team approach, including physicians, therapists and caregivers. The management strategy must target the underlying causes. Preventative measures, such as positioning and handling, can reduce the risk of developing hemiplegic shoulder pain. We have reviewed the literature on hemiplegic shoulder pain, and used this to categorise the underlying mechanisms, and to explore the best management strategies.
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