Internal Rotation Deficits Affect Scapular Positioning in Baseball Players

Anecdotal evidence suggests an association between glenohumeral internal rotation deficits (GIRD) and scapular dysfunction, an observable alteration in the normal position or motion of the scapula in relation to the thoracic cage. The authors of this study therefore hypothesized players with GIRD (15° or greater) will have decreased dominant arm scapular upward rotation and increased scapular protraction compared with baseball players with GIRD (14° or less). 43 baseball players with no current shoulder or elbow symptoms were studied; 22 had GIRD 15° or greater and 21 had GIRD 14° or less. Glenohumeral internal rotation supine with the scapula stabilized was measured. Scapular upward rotation was tested at rest; 60°, 90°, and 120° abduction in the scapular plane; and scapular protraction at 0°, hands on hips, and 90° abduction in the scapular plane.

The GIRD (15° or greater) group had less scapular upward rotation in the dominant arm. Scapular protraction at 90° also was greater in the dominant arm of the GIRD (15° or greater) group.

Stephen J. Thomas, Kathleen A. Swanik, Charles B. Swanik and John D. Kelly. Baseball players with more GIRD have alterations to the position and motion of their scapula. A dual goal of minimizing GIRD and strengthening the scapular stabilizers may be warranted in this population. Internal Rotation Deficits Affect Scapular Positioning in Baseball Players. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, October 20 2009, online article ahead of print