Clinical Measures of Shoulder Mobility in College Water-Polo Players

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Aaron Witwer
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Eric Sauers
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Context:

Overhead stress from both swimming and throwing in water-polo players might lead to alterations in shoulder mobility and subsequent injury.

Objective:

To evaluate clinical measures of shoulder mobility in college water-polo players.

Design:

Repeated measures.

Setting:

University athletic training facility.

Patients:

31 Division I water-polo athletes.

Main Outcome Measures:

Measures were obtained for both the dominant and nondominant shoulders. Scapular upward rotation was measured using a digital inclinometer, posterior shoulder tightness was assessed by recording horizontal adduction with the scapula stabilized, and passive isolated glenohumeral-joint internal- and external-rotation range of motion were measured using goniometry.

Results:

No significant difference was observed between sides for scapular upward rotation (P = .68), posterior shoulder tightness (P = .25), or internal rotation (P = .41). A significant difference between sides was present for external rotation (P < .0001) and total arc of motion (P = .039).

Conclusions:

The dominant shoulders demonstrated significantly greater external rotation and a significantly greater total arc of motion than the nondominant shoulders did.

The authors are with the Arizona School of Health Sciences, Mesa, AZ 85206.

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