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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318296128d
Clinical Sciences

Shoulder Pain among High-Level Volleyball Players and Preseason Features

FORTHOMME, BENEDICTE1; WIECZOREK, VALERIE2; FRISCH, ANNE3; CRIELAARD, JEAN-MICHEL1; CROISIER, JEAN-LOUIS1

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Abstract

Purpose: The main goal of this prospective study was to identify the most significant intrinsic risk factors for shoulder pain by measuring strength developed by shoulder rotators and by carrying out various morphostatic assessments.

Methods: Sixty-six players (mean ± SD age = 24 ± 5 yr) were recruited from nine volleyball teams from the first and second divisions (34 men and 32 women) to participate in the study. Before the start of the volleyball season, all the participants completed a preseason questionnaire and underwent both a bilateral isokinetic evaluation of the shoulders and morphostatic measurements. During the subsequent 6 months of the competition period, the players reported through a weekly questionnaire any shoulder pain experienced.

Results: During the ongoing season, 23% (15 of 66 players) of the volleyball players experienced dominant shoulder pain. Interestingly, participants who reported a history of dominant shoulder pain were found to have nine times higher risk of suffering further pain in their dominant shoulder. The eccentric maximal strength developed by the internal and external rotators was found to represent a protective factor in the volleyball players (respective odds ratios = 0.946, P = 0.01 and 0.94, P = 0.05). No risk factors were found among the shoulder morphostatic measurements.

Conclusion: In our study, the evaluation of shoulder rotator muscle strength through isokinetic assessment, especially eccentric mode, appeared to be the most contributing parameter to identify risk factors for shoulder pain. This evaluation should allow to better identify players at risk.

© 2013 American College of Sports Medicine

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