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May 27, 2020  
SHOULDER NEWS: Feature Story

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    Different Measuring Techniques May Lead to Incomplete Shoulder Injury Treatment


    July 18, 2011

    Source: Sports Health

    ROSEMONT, IL- Three measuring techniques are generally used during a shoulder motion assessment — stabilization of the humeral head, stabilization of the scapula, and visual inspection.

    Results from this study illustrated that stabilizing the scapula while rotating the patient’s arm provided the most reliable range of motion measurement.

    “A decrease in the internal rotation of the shoulder makes an athlete much more susceptible to injury,” explains Kevin Wilk, PT, DPT, lead study author from Champion Sports Medicine in Alabama. “Accurately assessing this rotation is key to setting up a rehabilitation or strength program to prevent future injury.”

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    Three measuring techniques are generally used during a shoulder motion assessment.

  • Stabalizing the scalpula while rotating patients arm creates the best motion measurment.
  • “A decrease in the internal rotation of the shoulder makes an athlete much more susceptible to injury"
  • “It’s well understood that measuring internal rotation is important, but there are differing opinions..."
  • The first group, made up of 20 subjects, was used to assess the intra- and inter-tester reliability of the three methods of measurements for shoulder internal rotation. The second group included measurement of both shoulders of 39 professional baseball players during spring training.

    The first group was measured to test the reliability of each individual shoulder motion assessment technique. The second group was used to compare the three techniques. All three methods produced varying measurements, which led researchers to a variety of discrepancies. The authors recommend stabilizing the scapula through the coracoid process, rather than placing the hand over the back part of the glenohumeral joint to maximize reliability. This technique still allows for normal movements of the joint.

    “It’s well understood that measuring internal rotation is important, but there are differing opinions concerning the bestmeasuring technique,” adds Michael M. Reinold, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, Rehabilitation Coordinator for the Boston Red Sox. “Our study evaluated these differences in results and found that all three methods had a low reliability to assessinjury, but scapula stabilization was the most effective.”

    “There is no gold standard for internal rotation measurement, making it difficult for clinicians and researchers to accurately compare patient findings and data,” Wilk says. “It is our hope that this study brings attention to the importance of adoptinga standardized technique to measure shoulder internal rotation to ensure consistency and accuracy with patient care.”

    Photo: Laffy

    Last updated: 18-Jul-11

       
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