Comparison of upper extremity physical characteristics
It is an accepted belief that changes in upper extremity characteristics, such as posture, range of motion (ROM) and subacromial space are due to cumulative training load of swimmers. This belief, however, has never been established clinically. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare posture, subacromial space, and glenohumeral external rotation, internal rotation, and horizontal adduction ROM between adolescent competitive swimmers and nonoverhead athletes
44 competitive adolescent swimmers and 31 nonoverhead athletes with no present elbow, shoulder, neck, or back pain limiting sport participation were included into the study. The swimmers were top level club training level, training regularly at least 4 times per week for 1-2 hours per session. Non-overhead athlete participants were included if they had not been involved with an organized team of an overhead-dominant sport for more than 1 year and with no elbow, shoulder, neck, or back pain limiting activity.
The study found few differences occurring between competitive swimmers and nonoverhead athletes. The subacromial space was similar, dominant limb internal rotation did not differ and similar alterations in forward shoulder posture were found. Swimmers, however, presented less dominant limb horizontal adduction ROM.
Other contributors to forward shoulder posture other than repetitive overhead activity need to be identified. These factors may include lifestyle factors such as school and technology use.
> From: Hibberd et al., J Athl Train 51 (2016) . All rights reserved to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.