Shoulder Injury Prevention Program for Overhead/Throwing Athletes
Phase 1 of 3
We have collaborated with @tennisprehablab breaking down a study conducted in 2017 by Andersson et al. which examined the effects of shoulder injury prevention program implemented 3x/week during a 7-month handball season. The study was a prospective cluster randomized control trial that included participation of 45 teams equating to 660 players.
The program was developed to improve:
- Shoulder internal rotation (IR)
- External rotation (ER)
- Scapular muscle strength
- Kinetic chain & T/S mobility
5 exercises were selected & were employed as the teams’ warm-up & took approx. 10 minutes to perform. These 5 exercises were progress in 3 phases.
Impairments/risk factors are similar for most overhead athletes including: total shoulder rotation (ER greater than IR), ER weakness & scapula dyskinesis (faulty shoulder blade movement). This will cause anterior humeral head translation, posterior cuff tightness, and chronic capsular stress, ultimately resulting in risk of rotator cuff & labrum pathology.
Results: 28% lower risk of shoulder problems & 22% lower risk of substantial shoulder problems in the intervention group compared w/ the control group who performed routine warm-up.
Phase 1: Weeks 1-6
1. Push up plus w/ Trunk Rotation:
a. Drive shoulder blades toward the floor & out
b. Maintain push up plus position, scapular stability during trunk rotation.
c. 3 x 8-16 reps
2. Standing Y with resistance band
a. Maintain neutral spine position
b. Do not shrug shoulders
c. ER shoulders (thumb pointed up) during arm elevation.
d. 3 x 8-16 reps
3. Quadruped trunk rotation w/ ball
a. Maintain neutral lumbar spine position
b. Maintain shoulder stability of grounded arm during rotation
c. Exhale as you rotate through the T/S
d. 3 x 8-16 reps
4. Sleeper Stretch
a. Lie on side & ensure shoulder blade is blocked by ground
b. Gently press on hand to stretch the post cuff
c. 3 x 30 second holds
5. Standing 90/90 ER
a. Maintain 90° at the shoulder and elbow
b. Maintain scapular stability (avoid shrugging shoulder)
c. Slowly lower med ball down to floor
d. 3 x 10-20 reps
Citation: Andersson, Stig Haugsboe, et al. "Preventing overuse shoulder injuries among throwing athletes: a cluster-randomised controlled trial in 660 elite handball players." Br J Sports Med 51.14 (2017): 1073-1080.