Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2012) 11, 676 - 681

Research article
Scapular Contribution for the End-Range of Shoulder Axial Rotation in Overhead Athletes
Andrea Ribeiro , Augusto Gil Pascoal
Author Information
Technical University of Lisbon, Faculty of Human Kinetics, Interdisciplinary Centre of Human Performance (CIPER), Lisbon, Portugal.

Andrea Ribeiro
✉ Universidade Técnica Lisboa, Faculdade Motricidade Humana, CIPER, LBMF P-1499-002 Lisboa, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 26-04-2012
Accepted: 13-09-2012
Published (online): 01-12-2012
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The aim of this study was to analyze the relative contribution of the scapular motion on the extreme range-of-motion of shoulder external and internal rotation, in overhead athletes. An electromagnetic tracking device (Flock of Birds) was used to record humeral and scapular kinematics. The dominant arm of 26 male subjects (13 athletes and 13 non-athletes) was studied while subjects actively reached end-range of internal and external rotation. Humeral and scapular angles were calculated and compared across groups by means of a t-test for independent samples. A bivariate correlation approach was used to describe the relationship between humeral angles and scapular variables. The range-of-motion of the thoracohumeral angles, during shoulder external rotation was significantly less (p < 0.05) on the athletes group, athletes also positioned their dominant scapula more retracted and posteriorly tilted. A positive correlation was found between glenohumeral angles and scapular tilt (r = 0.6777; p < 0.05). Concerning internal rotation; athletes showed significantly greater (highest) thoracohumeral angles (p < 0.05). Scapula assumed a position more in retraction and anterior tilt. Based on these findings, it is suggested that differences found in athletes seem to reveal an eventual shoulder adaptation to the throwing mechanics.

Key words: Throwing-shoulder, overhead-athletes, scapular, internal and external rotation

           Key Points
  • In external rotation end-range, athletes positioned their scapula more in retraction and posterior tilt.
  • In internal rotation end-range, athletes positioned their scapula more in retraction and anterior tilt.
  • Results seem to reveal a sport-related shoulder adaptation.
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