Prof. Lennard Funk’s Education Portal

Call: 01625 545071
Email: [email protected]
For treatment enquires visit The Arm Clinic

Shoulder Muscle Imbalance: Cause or Consequence of Impingement?

Authors: Cools AJ

References: The American Journal of Sports Medicine. July/August 2003. Vol. 31. No. 4. Pp. 542-549.

Abstract
Physical therapists often treat injured athletes so they can get back on the playing field. Therapists know that training a single muscle in one arm or leg isn't enough. Muscles on both sides of a joint are often affected by an injury to one side of the joint.

This was shown clearly in a recent study of overhand athletes. These players are involved in racquet sports, volleyball, swimming, and field events. Shoulder pain from impingement is common. Impingement in the shoulder means "pinching" of some structure inside or outside of the shoulder joint.

It's well known that the scapula (shoulder blade) plays an important part in normal shoulder motion. When the shoulder is injured, movement of the scapula changes. What researchers don't know is which comes first: muscle imbalance or impingement?

This study measured speed and timing of muscles around the scapula. Two groups were tested: one group with shoulder impingement, and one without. The researchers found the biggest differences occur in the timing of shoulder muscle activity. They were surprised to find delays in muscle activity of both the injured and uninjured shoulders in the patient group.

The researchers conclude that treatment of sports injuries must correct the timing and coordination of muscle activity around the shoulder. This must be done on both sides. For now it looks like muscle imbalance occurs first, and then impingement.

Search ShoulderDoc.co.uk

Find a Shoulder Professional

+ Add Your Clinic Advanced Search

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

ShoulderDoc.co.uk satisfies the INTUTE criteria for quality and has been awarded 'editor's choice'.

The material on this website is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between ourselves and our patients. Full Disclaimer