Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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A Screening Test to Determine Shoulder Stability in Adolescent Male Rugby Union Players: A Feasibility Study

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of a shoulder screening test to predict shoulder stability in adolescent rugby union players.

Design: A feasibility study.

Methods: Adolescent male rugby union players (n=27) aged 12-18 years were recruited from secondary schools in metropolitan Sydney. Measures of shoulder strength, active joint range of movement and joint hypermobility were recorded.

Results: The right shoulder was significantly stronger than the left in extension (mean difference=2.63; t27=-3.38; p=0.002, two-tailed), abduction (mean difference=2.24; t27=-2.42; p=0.023, two-tailed), and internal rotation in neutral (mean difference=1.36; t27=-2.82; p=0.009, two-tailed). No significant differences in strength were found between sides for shoulder flexion and external rotation in neutral. Internal rotation strength was significantly greater in neutral than in 90o abduction but contrary results were found for external rotation. No significant relationship was found between shoulder muscle strength and active shoulder joint range of movement (r=0.05, p=0.81). No significant differences were found between left and right sides for active range of movement. Four participants (14.8%) scored above normal (>4/9) on the Beighton’s Hypermobility Score. There was a moderate, positive correlation between body mass index and average shoulder muscle strength (r=0.40, p=0.04).

Conclusion: The protocol used in this study was feasible for both participants and examiners. This screening test could be used to identify potential risk factors for shoulder injury.

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