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Am J Sports Med. 1998 Mar-Apr;26(2):262-5.

The effects of muscle fatigue on shoulder joint position sense.

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Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, MedSport, Section of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48106-0363, USA.


Proprioception, or joint position sense, probably plays an important role in shoulder joint function. In this study, we assessed the effect of muscle fatigue on shoulder proprioception in 20 volunteers with no shoulder abnormalities. Shoulder proprioception was measured as the threshold to first detection of humeral rotation with the joint at 90 degrees of abduction and 90 degrees of external rotation. Subjects were tested while rested, exercised on a isokinetic testing machine until fatigued, and then retested in an identical fashion. Both shoulders were tested, and the order of dominant and nondominant shoulder was randomized. Shoulder proprioception was analyzed for its dependence on arm dominance, direction of rotation, and muscle fatigue. Subjects detected external rotation after significantly less movement than they did internal rotation. Overall, before exercise, motion was detected after a mean of 0.92 degrees of rotation. After exercise, this threshold to detection of movement increased to 1.59 degrees, an increase of 73%. This significant increase occurred with both internal and external rotation. The decrease in proprioceptive sense with muscle fatigue may play a role in decreasing athletic performance and in fatigue-related shoulder dysfunction. It remains to be determined if training can lessen this loss in position sense.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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