Does scapular positioning predict shoulder pain in recreational overhead athletes?

This prospective study’s goal was to investigate possible scapular related risk factors for developing shoulder pain. Therefore, a 2-year follow-up study in a general community sports centre setting was conducted. A sample of convenience of 113 recreational overhead athletes (59 women and 54 men) with a mean age of 34 (17-64; SD 12) years were recruited. At baseline, visual observation for scapular dyskinesis, measured scapular protraction, upward scapular rotation and dynamic scapular control were evaluated. 22% (n=25) of all athletes developed shoulder pain during the 24 months following baseline assessment. The Mean Shoulder Disability Questionnaire (SDQ) score for the painful shoulders was 34.8 (6.3-62.5; SD 17.4). None of the scapular characteristics predicted the development of shoulder pain. However, the athletes that developed shoulder pain showed significantly less upward scapular rotation at 45° (p=0.010) and 90° (p=0.016) of shoulder abduction in the frontal plane at baseline in comparison to the athletes that remained pain-free.

While these scapular characteristics are not of predictive value for the development of shoulder pain, this study added to the understanding of the importance of a scapular upward rotation assessment among recreational overhead athletes.

Sensorimotor Impairment in Neck Pain

Join Chris Worsfold in this short online course to learn about the evaluation and rehabilitation of sensorimotor impairment in patients with neck pain.