Aim of the study was to compare the efficacy of a muscle shortening maneuver (MSM) with the efficacy of a topical NSAID (flurbiprofen) in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS). The effects of these therapies were evaluated by sonographic exam (US). SIS was diagnosed by US in 78 patients with painful shoulder. Thirty patients (first group) were treated with topical flurbiprofen for 15 days. Forty-eight patients (second group) were treated with MSM, which was performed once. The shoulder was analyzed in all patients by US before and after treatment. Before treatment and 15 days after treatment, pain by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), range of motion (ROM) and Neer’s Test were evaluated. Pain was decreased by both treatments. In only 8 patients of the first group, the encroachment of acromion into the rotator cuff was no more detectable by US after the treatment; ROM increased (> 45°) only in 11 patients (36%) and the width of subacromial-subdeltoid bursa (SSB) was not significantly reduced. At variance with the results obtained in the first group, in all patients of the second group the encroachment of acromion was no more detectable by US, ROM increased (> 45°) and the width of SSB was significantly reduced after the maneuver. Both topical flurbiprofen and MSM were helpful in pain control, but better results, with decrease of width of SSB assessed by US, were obtained by MSM.