Evaluation of shoulder joint position sense in both asymptomatic and rehabilitated professional rugby players and matched controls

The objective of this study was to assess if joint position sense (JPS) in the shoulder differed between un-injured rugby players, matched control subjects and previously injured rehabilitated rugby players. 15 asymptomatic professional rugby union players, 15 previously injured professional rugby union players, 15 asymptomatic matched non-rugby playing controls had their JPS assessed. JPS was assessed using two criterion angles in the 90° shoulder abduction position (45° and 80° external rotation). The study found a significant difference between groups in error score. The testing angle also had a significant effect on error score with greater error scores occurring in the mid range position.

This study showed rugby players to have better JPS than controls, indicating JPS might not be related to injury risk. Poor JPS appears to be related to injury, players having sustained an injury have decreased JPS despite surgery and/or rehabilitation and returning to sport without incident.

Lee Herrington, Ian Horsley and Christer Rolf. Evaluation of shoulder joint position sense in both asymptomatic and rehabilitated professional rugby players and matched controls. Physical Therapy in Sport, 20 November 2009, online article ahead of print

Therapeutic Interventions for the Shoulder

Explore evidence-based interventions for shoulder pain including the Shoulder Symptom Modification Procedure and prescription considerations. Covers clinical approaches to management of specific conditions including instability, rotator cuff and subacromial pain.

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