Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

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Information about project titled 'Screening and monitoring elite volleyball players for shoulder complaints'

Screening and monitoring elite volleyball players for shoulder complaints

Details about the project - category Details about the project - value
Project status: Ongoing
Project manager: Chris Skazalski
Supervisor(s): Rodney Whitely, Roald Bahr


Background: Shoulder problems are common in volleyball and greatly impede both training and player performance. Subacromial bursa (SAB) thickening and tendon neovascularity have shown relevance in other populations, but their relationship with the development of shoulder complaints has not been investigated in volleyball players or other overhead throwing athletes.

Aim: To examine the role of SAB thickness, neovascularization of the supraspinatus tendon, shoulder strength, range of motion (ROM), player position, and age in the development of shoulder complaints in professional volleyball players.

Methods: Professional volleyball players underwent preseason baseline testing and reported shoulder complaints during the subsequent 12-week period. SAB thickness measurements and neovascular assessment of the supraspinatus tendon were performed bilaterally. Shoulder strength and ROM – including humeral torsion – were also assessed. Generalized estimating equations were used to model for probabilities of shoulder complaints after adjusting for player position, SAB side-to-side difference, neovessel presence, shoulder external rotation (ER) ROM, and age.

Implications: This is the largest prospective study to date examining risk factors for shoulder problems in volleyball players. Additionally, this is the first prospective study to explore SAB thickness and neovascularization of the supraspinatus tendon in the development of shoulder complaints in volleyball players or other overhead athletes. The results will provide knowledge regarding risk factors for shoulder injuries and have the potential to mitigate risk for developing shoulder pain and complaints in future athletes.