The Effect of Scapular-Retractor Fatigue on External and Internal Rotation in Patients with Internal Impingement

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

Scapular strengthening is thought to be an important component of the rehabilitation of patients with internal impingement.

Objective:

To determine the effect of scapular-retractor-muscle fatigue on internal- and external-rotation-torque production in patients with internal impingement.

Design:

Case control study.

Setting:

Outpatient clinic.

Participants:

15 patients and 18 healthy subjects.

Intervention:

A scapular-retractor-fatigue protocol.

Main Outcome Measure:

Shoulder-rotation- torque production.

Results:

After the scapular-retractor-fatigue protocol external- rotation strength was reduced in patients (involved 25%, noninvolved 19%; P < .001).

Conclusion:

Fatigue in the scapular retractors resulted in lower shoulder-rotation-torque production. These findings emphasize the importance of the scapular retractors for proper function of the shoulder rotators with the arm in an abducted position in patients with internal impingement.

Tyler and McHugh are with NISMAT, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY. Cuoco is with AEON Physical Therapy, Monroe, CT. Schachter is with Orthopedic Health, LLC, Milford, CT. Thomas is with PRO Sports PT of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY.