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J Athl Train. 2014 Sep-Oct;49(5):647-53. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.3.02. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Age-related, sport-specific adaptions of the shoulder girdle in elite adolescent tennis players.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium;

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Tennis requires repetitive overhead movements that can lead to upper extremity injury. The scapula and the shoulder play a vital role in injury-free playing. Scapular dysfunction and glenohumeral changes in strength and range of motion (ROM) have been associated with shoulder injury in the overhead athlete.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare scapular position and strength and shoulder ROM and strength between Swedish elite tennis players of 3 age categories (<14, 14-16, and >16 years).

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Tennis training sports facilities.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

Fifty-nine adolescent Swedish elite tennis players (ages 10-20 years) selected based on their national ranking.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

We used a clinical screening protocol with a digital inclinometer and a handheld dynamometer to measure scapular upward rotation at several angles of arm elevation, isometric scapular muscle strength, glenohumeral ROM, and isometric rotator cuff strength.

RESULTS:

Players older than 16 years showed less scapular upward rotation on the dominant side at 90° and 180° (P < .05). Although all absolute scapular muscle strength values increased with age, there was no change in the body-weight-normalized strength of the middle (P = .9) and lower (P = .81) trapezius or serratus anterior (P = .17). Glenohumeral internal-rotation ROM and total ROM tended to decrease, but this finding was not statistically significant (P = .052 and P = .06, respectively). Whereas normalized internal-rotator strength increased from 14 to 16 years to older than 16 years (P = .009), normalized external-rotator and supraspinatus strength remained unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS:

Age-related changes in shoulder and scapular strength and ROM were apparent in elite adolescent tennis players. Future authors should examine the association of these adaptations with performance data and injury incidence.

KEYWORDS:

range of motion; rotator cuff strength; scapular muscle strength; scapular position; upper extremity

PMID:
25098662
PMCID:
PMC4208869
DOI:
10.4085/1062-6050-49.3.02
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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