Serratus Anterior Stretch: A Novel Intervention and Its Effect on the Shoulder Range of Motion

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Serratus anterior tightness is associated with scapular dyskinesis and overall shoulder dysfunction, which affects the range of motion. The most effective intervention to stretch the serratus anterior is unknown. Objective: To evaluate the effect of a therapist-administered novel serratus anterior stretch (SAS) on shoulder range of motion. Method: This study recruited 30 healthy subjects of age 21.20 (1.69) years, height 1.65 (0.11) m, and weight 60.90 (10.36) kg in equal ratio of males and females who scored 1 or 2 on the shoulder mobility test of functional movement screening. A single intervention of a novel SAS was applied to the shoulder. Outcome variables before and after the SAS included the following: shoulder ROM (flexion, abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation) and functional movements of reaching up behind the back and reaching down behind the neck. Results: A paired t test was used to analyze the data. Following the acute SAS intervention, all shoulder ROM improved significantly (P < .000). The change in internal rotation was 6.00° (7.47°), external rotation was 5.66° (9.35°), abduction was 13.50° (11.82°), flexion was 20° (13.33°), reaching up behind the back was 5.10 (2.21) cm, and reaching down behind the neck was 5.41 (2.89) cm. The most marked improvement was in reaching up behind the back (24.48%) and reaching down behind the neck (22.78%). A very large effect size (>1) was observed across most of the variables. Conclusion: An acute SAS intervention improves shoulder mobility in healthy individuals. It is recommended for the trial on the prevention and rehabilitation of shoulder pathologies with restriction in shoulder mobility.

Keramat is with the HHIRS, Mansehra, Pakistan. Babar is with the Isra Institute of Rehabailation Sciences, Isra University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Keramat (karamatjee@yahoo.com, karamatjee@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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