Normative Values for Glenohumeral Joint Rotational Range of Motion in Elite Tennis Players
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Due to the repetitive overhead activity involved in tennis and the physical demands of the sport, shoulder joint injury is common. There is limited research available describing sport specific risk factors for injury in tennis, however limitation of shoulder internal rotation has been associated with injury in other overhead ‘throwing’ sports. Objectives The aim of this study was to determine normative values for shoulder joint rotational range of motion in elite tennis players. It was also to investigate changes in range of motion between different age groups of players. Design The study design was a retrospective audit of glenohumeral joint measurements. Setting The data was collected during national performance camps run by the Lawn Tennis Association at the National Tennis Centre between September 2012 and July 2014. Participants One hundred and sixty–five elite tennis players including both male and female athletes took part. They were aged between 11 and 27 and were selected based on their national rankings. The participants were divided into three age groups; under 14, 14-15 year olds, and 16 and over athletes. 3 Main Outcome Measures The variables analysed were glenohumeral joint internal, external and total rotation range of movement in all the participants and between the three age groups of players. Results A reduced internal rotation, greater external rotation and smaller total range of motion on the dominant versus the non–dominant shoulder were identified. A Glenohumeral Joint Internal Rotation Deficit was found on the dominant side, which increased with increasing player age. There was also a significant difference in the internal rotation and the total range of motion on the dominant side between the under 14 group and the 14-15 year olds. No differences were found between the 14–15 year olds and the over 16 group. The external rotation range of motion was not found to differ between the three age groups. Conclusions This study provides normative values for glenohumeral joint rotational range of motion in elite tennis players and also demonstrates age specific changes in range. The next step is to investigate if there are associations between changes in rotational range and injury risk in this population group.
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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