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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES SPORTS INJURIES AND REHABILITATION
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2013 June;53(3):283-8
Isometric evaluation of rotator cuff muscles in volleyball athletes
Martelli G. 1, 2, 3, Ciccarone G. 2, 3, Grazzini G. 3, Signorini M. 1, Urgelli S. 1 ✉
1 Medical and Rehabilitation Center “Performance Valdelsa”, Poggibonsi, Siena, Italy;
2 Sports Medicine Specialization School, University of Siena, Siena, Italy;
3 Medicine and Surgery Faculty, Motor Sciences Department, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate, in a group of semi-professional volleyball players, the function of the rotator cuff muscles with a new specific device.
Methods: We have studied 30 asymptomatic volleyball players, 15 females and 15 males, all right handed central or lateral spikers, with some specific functional tests. Every subject was evaluated by some common clinical tests to detect shoulder range of motion (ROM) and rotator cuff muscles strength in both sides. Athletes were also submitted to an isometric bilateral shoulder strength test, with a specific upper limb dynamometer (Dynatorq), in three different positions: 1) arm 0° abducted; 2) arm 90° abducted and 90° external rotation, to try to reproduce the spike gesture; 3) arm behind the thorax, as a simulation of clinical lift-off test. All clinical and instrumental data were collected in male and female groups and, in each group, comparisons between dominant and non dominant shoulders.
Results: Our data show in all athletes an initial postero-superior impingement with significant weakness of the subscapularis muscle in the dominant shoulder.
Conclusion: In all overhead athletes, and in particular in volleyball spikers, a pre-clinical diagnosis of lack of strength of the subscapularis muscle in the dominant side, before the occurrence of pain or discomfort signs, could be an important diagnostic aspect to avoid or delay the back-retraction of the joint capsule of the shoulder.