College of Health Sciences

About the Shoulder Research Center

Shoulder pain is a common problem and frequently involves irritation of the joint and tendons of the rotator cuff muscles which are located around the shoulder. Physical therapy treatment is usually the first line of treatment for several shoulder conditions. We are seeking to better understand how and why therapy works in some individuals and does not work in some others.

The overall goal of the Shoulder Research Center is to understand the underlying causes of shoulder pain and develop optimal treatment approaches to manage shoulder pain. 


Philip W. McClure

Professor / Chair

Dr. Philip McClure’s research centers on shoulder dysfunction and his work includes both laboratory and clinical studies. The broad goals of his research are to understand biomechanical and neurophysiological mechanisms underlying shoulder dysfunction and to develop interventions to optimize shoulder function after injury. His research has centered around disorders of the rotator cuff and related biomechanical issues and has included extensive study of 3-dimensional scapular kinematics and translation of that work into clinical testing.  He has successfully coordinated teams involving physical therapists, engineers, orthopedic surgeons and basic scientists to address clinically relevant questions.  He has also mentored several doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers on shoulder related research. Currently his studies are focused on neural activation of the rotator cuff and the effect of pain, pain relief and exercise on neural activation. 

Dr. McClure, along with a collaborator from University of Oregon, was awarded a four-year grant worth $1.9 million in 2014, from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the NIH. His work has also been funded by the Orthopedic and Sports Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association as well as the Arthritis Foundation. Recently he has served on the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons’ Writing Panel for the Appropriate Use Criteria on Optimizing the Management of Rotator Cuff Problems as well as the Technical Expert Panel for Comparative Effectiveness of Nonoperative and Operative Treatments for Rotator Cuff Tears convened by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He is the team leader for the shoulder group convened by the Orthopedic Section of the APTA to develop Clinical Guidelines for management of the most common shoulder disorders.


Equipment Center & Lab

The Shoulder Research Center and Department of Physical Therapy are housed within the Health Science Center at Arcadia University and has space dedicated to research activities as well as areas available for exercise, meetings etc.  The lab also has several work spaces available for lab personnel. The lab’s equipment includes:

  • Kinesiological Fine-wire EMG set-up
  • MotionMonitor Toolbox software
  • Polhemus Liberty 3D magnetic tracking system coupled with Motion Monitor software
  • Noraxon 1200, 8-channel electromyography system
  • Grass Muscle and Nerve Stimulator (S48) unit
  • GE Logiq-e Ultrasound 
  • Hand-held and machine mounted force transducers 
  • Kin-Com isokinetic dynamometers
  • BTE Primus muscle performance testing system
  • 2 AMTI force plate