College of Health Sciences

Shoulder Research Center Studies and Projects

Current Studies

Neurophysiology of Weakness and Exercise in Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

The objective of this study is to determine the adaptations in neural activation associated with pain relief and exercise in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy. This project is funded by a grant awarded to Dr. McClure, along with a collaborator from University of Oregon, worth $1.9 million from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the NIH. 

Muscle adaptations with exercise in people with rotator cuff tendinopathy

The goal of this project is to study muscle adaptations related to exercise and pain relief in people with rotator cuff tendinopathy. Understanding these mechanisms will allow us to optimize the current exercise programs to improve patient symptoms and function so that long term problems such as tears and arthritis can be prevented. 

Humeral Torsion in Developing Children and its Relationship to Throwing Sports

The primary purpose of this study is to investigate humeral torsion (twisting of the humeral bone) and glenohumeral (shoulder) rotation range of motion (ROM) across an age spectrum (8-14) of young athletes with different throwing histories. This study is funded by a grant from the Orthopedic Section, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Principal Investigator: Dr. Elliot Greenberg, PT, DPT.

Neurosensory Responses to Thrust Mobilization in People with Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy 

The primary goal of this study is to identify how spinal joint thrust mobilization improves pain and function in people with impingement. This study is funded by a grant from the Orthopedic Section, APTA. Principal Investigator: Dr. Stephanie Muth, PT, PhD.

Infraspinatus Activation in People with and without Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

The objectives of this study are to determine if there are differences in the level of muscle activation (VA) of the infraspinatus (a shoulder muscle) between individuals with and without rotator cuff tendinopathy (“tendinitis”) and whether or not pain, shoulder function, psychological response to pain and VA are related. This study is funded by a grant from the Orthopedic Section, APTA. Principal Investigator: Dr. Ann Harrington, PT, PhD.

Other Projects

We also have several on-going student projects which look at a variety of shoulder-related studies e.g. the development of assessment tools to examine shoulder function, ultrasound studies to examine shoulder structures etc. 

Orthopaedic Section National Outcomes Database

Dr. McClure leads a group of shoulder experts who are in the process of developing clinical guidelines and to collect and analyze outcome data for patients with shoulder pain. The purpose of this pilot project is to demonstrate the feasibility of collecting and analyzing outcomes data as well as to determine the usefulness of the information to enhance clinician performance and to establish the value of orthopaedic physical therapy. Ultimately, the National Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Outcomes Database will be a repository for clinical and process outcomes data for the most common conditions treated by orthopaedic physical therapists. 

Shoulder Study Criteria

Criteria vary for each study. We have several active projects for a range of shoulder conditions. Healthy volunteers are also encouraged to participate. Contact us today to learn more about our ongoing studies. If eligible to participate, you will be compensated for your time.

Measurement Tools

  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Ultrasound
  • 3-D Motion Capture
  • Force Transducers
  • Quantitative Sensory Testing 

Sign Up to Participate

Email us today at or complete our online questionnaire.